People will get blessings for financial gains: AAP defends currency comment

BJP MP Manoj Tiwari, however, termed Kejriwal's demand an "unsuccessful attempt" to hide his party's "ugly anti-Hindu face" ahead of elections.

New Delhi: People will get divine blessings for financial gains if images of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha are printed on currency notes, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders said on Wednesday, backing Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s statement.

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Earlier in the day, Kejriwal appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to have images of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi on currency notes. “If there is an image of Lakshmi-Ganesha on our currency (notes), our country will prosper. I will write to (the) prime minister in a day or two on this,” he said at a media briefing.

BJP MP Manoj Tiwari, however, termed Kejriwal’s demand an “unsuccessful attempt” to hide his party’s “ugly anti-Hindu face” ahead of elections.

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Requesting the BJP to support Kejriwal’s proposal, AAP MLA Atishi said, “You can continue to hate Arvind Kejriwal if you want to, but don’t hate Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha at least. Don’t hate their blessings. Don’t hate this country’s prosperity at least.”

“I want to request the BJP with folded hands not to oppose this proposal just because they hate the AAP and Kejriwal,” she said.

During the briefing, Kejriwal, who is the AAP’s national convener, also said that the images of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi could be printed on fresh currency notes. The new notes could have an image of Mahatma Gandhi on one side and the two deities on the other, he said.

Attacking the chief minister, Tiwari, a former Delhi BJP chief, also said that if Kejriwal really meant what he said then he should expel former Delhi minister Rajendra Pal Gautam and AAP’s Gujarat unit president Gopal Italia from the party for “speaking against Hindu deities”.

Hitting out at the BJP, Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said, “Just because Arvind Kejriwal has requested this, the BJP is uncomfortable with the proposal.”

“Why is the BJP opposing it? The BJP and the prime minister should make their stand clear on this matter,” he said.

The proposal for having pictures of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha on fresh currency notes “is important”, as it is “necessary to have blessings of God”, Singh said.

“We definitely focus on developmental work, health, education and other aspects but along with that, blessings of God are also important,” the MP said.

Hence, Kejriwal has requested the Centre to print pictures of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha on fresh currency notes, Singh said.

“Even Indonesia — a country with over 85 percent of Muslim population — has lord Ganesha in there currency,” he said.

Kejriwal cited the example of Indonesia, a Muslim nation, that has an image of Ganesha on its currency note. “When Indonesia can, why can’t we? The images can be printed on fresh (currency) notes,” he said.

Claiming that the Indian economy was not in good shape, the chief minister said that the country was passing through a delicate situation with the rupee depreciating against the US dollar.

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