Union minister and BJP ally Ramdas Athawale has supported the 22 pledges Dr B R Ambedkar had drawn up while converting to Buddhism, and said he as a Buddhist is "proud" of them.
These pledges, which include not worshipping Hindu deities, are at the centre of a political row after the then Delhi government minister Rajendra Pal Gautam was forced to resign due to the BJP's vehement protests against the AAP leader's presence at a conversion event where these vows were recited.
बोधिसत्व डॉ बाबासाहेब आंबेडकर द्वारा किए गए 22 प्रतिज्ञायो को हम स्वीकार करते हैं और बौद्ध होने के नाते 22 प्रतिज्ञाओं का मैं समर्थन करता हूं। बाबासाहेब आंबेडकर द्वारा जो 22 प्रतिज्ञाएं ली गई थी उन पर हमको गर्व है और हम सभी को हमें अपने जीवन में यह स्वीकारना चाहिए।— Dr.Ramdas Athawale (@RamdasAthawale) October 15, 2022
In a tweet on Saturday, Athawale said, "We accept these 22 pledges drawn up by Bodhisattva Baba Saheb Ambedkar and I as a Buddhist support these 22 vows. These 22 pledges taken by Ambedkar is something we are proud of and we all should accept them in our lives."
Athawale's tweet comes days after he had slammed the Aam Aadmi Party over Gautam's presence at the event.
He had then said that people have a constitutional right to follow the religion they like but they should not defame or insult other religions.
The Republican Party leader had alleged that AAP head and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has often spoken against the Hindu religion.
The BJP had built a campaign against the AAP, accusing the party of hurting Hindu sentiments repeatedly. A defensive AAP leadership then nudged Gautam to resign.
(With PTI inputs)