With Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wearing his devotion to Lord Hanuman on his sleeves, one of his prominent MLAs Saurabh Bharadwaj on Tuesday announced that he will organise recitation of 'Sundara Kanda', the only chapter in Ramayana in which the hero is Hanuman and not Lord Ram.
The first in the series of the programme was organised in Ancient Shiva Temple located in south Delhi's Chirag Dilli on Tuesday evening.
"On the first Tuesday of every month, 'Sundara Kanda' will be recited in different areas," the 40-year-old MLA from Greater Kailash, AAP's chief spokesperson, tweeted. The programme will be organised in various locations of the capital on Tuesday, when devotees worship Lord Hanuman.
Bharadwaj, a computer engineer with a degree in law, said the recitation of 'Sundara Kanda' is to take blessings of Lord Hanuman. The 'Sundara Kanda' depicts the adventures of Hanuman, who is called 'Sundara' by his mother Anjani.
One of the first to find fault with Bharadwaj was Kejriwal's former media adviser Nagendar Sharma, who tweeted, "disappointed to see a competent legislator with progressive outlook fall into the fallacious trap of trying to outdo BJP in its game."
However, Sharma later withdrew it saying, his tweet was a "suggestion in good faith to my very close friend...whom I consider as my younger brother, but since it was leading to rumours and unnecessary interpretation, I have deleted it."
There was criticism of his move on Twitter with one user saying this was "not the reason" she voted for him. Another Twitter user posted, "this is not the job of a legislature in a secular nation. Leave religion out of your politics please."
AAP media panellist Akshay Marathe said Bharadwaj is accountable to the extent of his public work and how he uses his MLA funds."The objection to his religiosity is in poor taste and reeks of entitlement. He is exercising a fundamental right guaranteed to him by the Constitution," Marathe said.
As he faced accusation from BJP that he was anti-Hindu during recently concluded Delhi Assembly elections, Kejriwal publicly proclaimed his faith in Hanuman and went on to recite 'Hanuman Chalisa' on a news channel. He also went to a Hanuman temple to offer prayers, a day before the elections and on the day of counting after it became clear that AAP was returning to power with a thumping majority.
After results were announced, Kejriwal also attributed the victory to the blessings of Hanuman.