Kejriwal quietly performs Ganga Aarti as BJP chants Namo Namo in Varanasi

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LUCKNOW: At the time when BJP workers were chanting Namo Namo in Narendra Modi’s roadshow on streets of Varanasi on Thursday evening, Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal along with his wife quietly went to Dashashwamedh Ghat and performed Ganga Aarti.

In fact, earlier, during the day, while talking to reporters, Kejriwal had produced a copy of the letter of the Election Commission giving permission to BJP’s prime ministerial candidate for performing Ganga Aarti and accused Modi of politicizing the issue.

“No one needs any permission from the EC to perform rituals. Permission is required only for political activities. It seems Modi was aiming for electoral gains through aarti,” said Kejriwal, who is pitted against Modi in Varanasi. “You do not need permission to perform an aarti unless you are using party flags, banners or indulging in political activity. You need permission for political activities, not religious. I have gone to perform the aarti so many times. I even go alone,” he said.

The Varanasi district administration had on Wednesday denied permission to Modi for performing Ganga Aarti but later approved it. However, BJP leaders cancelled the event and on Thursday morning staged demonstration against district administration.

Reacting to the demonstration, Kejriwal said that BJP leaders’ only aim was to remain in media spotlight ahead of the Varanasi Lok Sabha election. Later he tweeted, “Modi ji given permission of Ganga Aarti. Yet rather than performing aarti, he is trying to draw political mileage. Sad.” “I went alone one day and performed aarti. No one stopped me. I will again go with my wife today and do aarti. Neeyat saaf honi chahiye.”

Inviting Modi for a debate, Kejriwal also tweeted, “I invite Mr Modi for an open discussion on a public platform. Let Kashi people ask straight questions from both of us.”

Kejriwal also pointed out that the BJP top brass has landed in the holy city, which he claimed was a sign of nervousness on the part of the hierarchy. He said through a series of tweets, “BJP top brass landed in Kashi. Shows their nervousness. Will they be able to save Modi ji from defeat?”

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