If voted to power in Gujarat, the AAP government will bear the entire expenses of people who want to visit Ayodhya for Lord Ram's darshan, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Saturday amid a row over his cabinet colleague purportedly denouncing Hindu deities.
He also said Aam Aadmi Party will win the upcoming Gujarat elections, due in December this year, because it is working for the people and "for God".
Kejriwal's invocation of Lord Ram in the poll-bound state came against the backdrop of a video clip purportedly showing Delhi Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam at an event where hundreds took a pledge to convert to Buddhism while denouncing Hindu deities went viral.
Addressing a rally at Dahod on the first day of his two-day visit to Gujarat, the AAP national convener said the Delhi government has launched a similar scheme wherein devotees of Lord Ram are taken to Ayodhya for free in a special train.
"Lord Shri Ram's temple in Ayodhya will get ready next year. Who all want to visit the temple? All of you want to do so. But the trip, stay, food and lodging is very costly, isn't it? And if you take your entire family, then it costs a lot," he said.
If we form a government in Gujarat, we will take you for a free darshan of Ayodhyaji, he said.
"In Delhi, a special train leaves with Ram Bhakts. People's travel, food and lodging are free of cost. They are picked up from their homes and dropped back after the trip, he said.
Kejriwal said he visits the Delhi railway station when the train leaves for Ayodhya and also receives the devotees when they return. "They bless me a lot upon return," he said.
Notably, banners terming Kejriwal as "anti-Hindu" and showing him wearing a skull cap surfaced in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat, and Vadodara cities on Saturday.
Along with Kejriwal's pictures, some banners carried lines like "I consider Hindu religion as madness", while some others had an "anti-Hindu Kejriwal go back" message.
At the rally, the AAP leader reiterated his party's commitment to providing a daily allowance of Rs 40 for the upkeep of cows, if it comes to power in Gujarat.
Kejriwal said eradicating corruption will be the top priority of AAP after winning the Gujarat elections.
"All the MLAs and ministers have looted the state. They say the government has incurred a loss. Where is all the money going? ...When AAP forms a government, we will recover every single money from them," Kejriwal said.
He also reiterated that the money saved by uprooting corruption will be used to provide free electricity and quality education, healthcare and other facilities to the public.
"Both these parties (BJP and Congress) hurl abuses at me and ask why Kejriwal provides free 'revadi' to people. The BJP and Congress are against freebies because they will have nothing to loot if such measures are implemented by AAP," he alleged.
Kejriwal claimed that the Gujarat chief minister gets 5,000 units of electricity free.
"If any leader says it (welfare) should not be free or (providing anything for) free is wrong, then that leader is a crook," he said without taking any names.
Kejriwal also listed the AAP's "guarantees" including providing quality education and healthcare facilities to the people of Gujarat, creating 10 lakh government jobs and giving Rs 3,000 monthly unemployment allowance.
He also promised Minimum Support Price (MSP) for wheat, rice, chana, groundnut and cotton, as well as 12-hour electricity during the day for farming activities and arrangement for irrigation, besides the compensation of Rs 50,000 per hectare for crop loss.
"It is people's blessing that this small party won Delhi and Punjab (elections). We will win Gujarat. Because we are working for the public, God, doing the work of righteousness and virtue...," he said.