Whether he was receiving a divine call, had gone to cover up his sins or a mere publicity stunt for the upcoming elections- whatever the reason maybe, Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal was seen cleaning utensils at a community kitchen along with many other Aam Aadmi Party members! They were seen performing ‘sewa‘ inside the Golden Temple complex on Monday.
Accompanied by senior party leaders, including Ashish Khetan, lawyer HS Phoolka, AAP MPs Bhagwant Mann and Sadhu Singh, actors and AAP members Gul Panag and Gurpreet Ghuggi and others, Kejriwal arrived at the Golden Temple complex, where the holiest of Sikh shrines ‘Harmandar Sahib’ is situated.
According to sources, Arvind Kejriwal and his members had come up to seek forgiveness for the political gaffe after the party’s ‘Youth manifesto’ was seen a picture of ‘Harmandar Sahib’, popularly known as the Golden Temple, along with AAP election symbol of ‘broom’.
Kejriwal, who remained inside the shrine complex for nearly an hour, told media after performing service at the shrine.
While releasing the ‘Youth Manifesto’ of the party, we had committed some mistakes unintentionally. To seek forgiveness, we have done sewa at Darbar Sahib.
White handkerchief covering his head and hands folded, Kejriwal went around the shrine complex, offered prayers, served food and cleaned utensils at the ‘Langar’ hall (the community kitchen which serves food to over one lakh people in a single day).
AAP and Arvind Kejriwal, faced criticism from the Sikh community, Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and radical Sikh organisations for the religious blunder they had created through their poster. Protests were held against the AAP.
This was registered as the second visit of Delhi’s Chief Minister to the shrine complex within 15 days. He had begun his three-day Punjab tour on July 3 by offering prayers at the same shrine.Immediately after his visit, Kejriwal had released the party’s controversial ‘Youth manifesto’ in Chandigarh.
The AAP gaffe unduly provided a political fodder to Akali Dal, Congress and others, just months ahead of assembly elections in Punjab which are likely to be held in February next year. AAP is posing serious challenge to both parties in Punjab.
Akali Dal President Sukhbir Badal said that the AAP and its leadership was a “bunch of outsiders who don’t have any inkling of the culture and traditions of Punjab.”
Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh had questioned Kejriwal for seeking forgiveness 15 days after committing the mistake.