Amid row, Arvind Kejriwal writes to PM Modi on ‘Lakshmi-Ganesha’ photos on notes

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for including photos of Hindu Goddess Lakshmi and Hindu God Ganesha on currency notes in a letter, stressing that he has made an appeal “on behalf of 130 crore Indians”. Kejriwal’s latest tweet on the matter comes even as controversy continues to brew over his demand. “I have written a letter to the Prime Minister, and have requested him on behalf of 130 crore Indians that the Indian currency notes should have photos of Lakshmi and Ganesha apart from that of Mahatma Gandhi,” Kejriwal tweeted.

The Delhi Chief Minister had first made these comments on Wednesday, two days after Diwali when he linked adding these photos to economic growth, and said the idea struck him during the celebration of the festival of lights. “I am not saying that this alone will improve the economy… many other efforts need to be undertaken… but those [efforts] will materialize if we have the blessings of gods and goddesses,” he had said during a virtual briefing.

Since then, rival parties – both the BJP and the Congress – have been slamming the ruling AAP in the national capital over the suggestion. The controversy comes as Himachal Pradesh prepares for state elections where Arvind Kejriwal’s party is a contender. Accused of practicing “fake Hindutva” and trying to appease, the AAP, however, has been relentless.

On Thursday, when he was questioned about accusations that the Delhi CM was focusing on votes with such statements, he quipped, saying: “Then they (BJP) should do it. If they feel that saying this would attract votes, then they implement it. They are running the central government. They should implement this and get votes.”

Congress’s Manish Tewari said that Ambedkar’s photo should be considered by a Maharashtra BJP leader suggesting using Shivaji’s photos on notes, Kejriwal’s comments have drawn a flurry of reactions.

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