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AAP minister apologises for 'don't pray to Hindu Gods' oath, accuses BJP of spreading rumours

India Today logo India Today 07-10-2022 Pankaj Jain

AAP minister Rajendra Pal Gautam has apologised and accused the BJP of spreading rumours after a video purportedly showed him attending an event where hundreds were heard taking a pledge to convert to Buddhism while denouncing Hindu deities.

Over 10,000 people on Wednesday gathered at Ambedkar Bhavan in the national capital to take part in the initiation to convert to Buddhism on October 5. Rajendra Pal Gautam allegedly took a pledge to "not worship Hindu Gods and Goddesses".

After the video of the event went viral on social media, the BJP lashed out and called it a "breaking India" project.

Reacting to the backlash, AAP minister Rajendra Pal Gautam said, "Today I saw in the media that the BJP is spreading rumours about me. I am a very religious person. I respect all the Gods and Goddesses and can never even dream of insulting the deities by my actions or words. I did not say any word against anyone's faith. I respect everyone's faith."

READ | 'Won't worship Hindu gods': AAP minister attends mass conversion event in Delhi, BJP hits back

"In my speech, I spoke on education, health, employment, inflation and social equality. But then BJP people are spreading false rumours about me. I am deeply hurt by this act of BJP people and I apologise with folded hands to all those people who have been hurt in any way due to this BJP propaganda," he added.

As the video went viral on Friday, the BJP launched an attack on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, asking him to sack Gautam, who responded by saying he was a "deeply religious person and would not even dream of insulting any deity through any action or word of mine".

There was no official reaction either from the Aam Aadmi Party or the Delhi government, but sources in the AAP claimed the chief minister was "extremely displeased" with Gautam, the social welfare minister.

ALSO READ | AAP minister's presence at conversion event sparks row, BJP leader Adesh Gupta asks Delhi CM to sack him

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