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Kejriwal’s Lakshmi-Ganesh on banknotes comment draws criticism, social media ridicule

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s statement about depictions of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha on banknotes sparked criticism and ridicule from some on social media, while others questioned the timing of the comments and linked them to the elections in Gujarat. Kejriwal claimed India’s economy was not in good shape and said at a news conference that the country had to put in a lot of effort to get the economy back on track, along with the “blessings of our gods and goddesses”.

“Today I appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Center that our banknotes have the image of Mahatma Gandhi on one side. It must remain as it is, but on the other side there must be an image of Ganesha and Lakshmi,” he said. His demand, however, provoked sharp reactions from the BJP, calling it a failed attempt to hide AAP’s “ugly anti-Hindu face” ahead of the upcoming elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Former AAP leader Ashutosh mocked Kejriwal and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should follow the advice of the AAP chief and immediately “fire all economic advisers”.

“Wow, what a great economic mantra being given by @ArvindKejriwal, great suggestion for @RishiSunak to boost the UK economy. @narendramodi must immediately fire all economic advisers .. follow his advice India will prosper,” Ashutosh tweeted. Filmmaker Ashok Pandit accused Kejriwal of creating a divide between different religions.

“I condemn the statement by Delhi CM @ArvindKejriwal in which he said that the photo of Ganeshji and Laxmi ji should be on Indian currency. creates a divide between different religions…”, Pandit tweeted. Some netizens also accused Kejriwal of hypocrisy, saying that he banned crackers just before Diwali and is now proposing to put pictures of Lakshmi and Ganesha on banknotes, while several others questioned why the AAP leader “who talked about schools and hospitals before.” such a comment. “He (Kejriwal) came to change politics. Darling of pseudo-liberals and their so-called national alternative,” Shantanu, whose biography on Twitter read: Nehruvian. Gandhian’ and has more than 6,700 followers, tweeted. A Twitter user pointed out that Kejriwal has been talking about the currency of Muslim-majority Indonesia.

The AAP’s national organizer said his suggestion was not against anyone, adding that even Indonesia, a Muslim country with less than two percent Hindus and more than 85 percent Muslims, had images of Lord Ganesha on its banknotes. “The fact that he specifically mentioned a Muslim country and how it has banknotes with pictures of Indian gods is about advancing the story of the Muslim Prime Minister. With this @ArvindKejriwal has proven beyond doubt that he is just a puppet of others,” tweeted Simran, who has 800 followers on Twitter. Some Twitter users even posted pictures of banknotes with Kejriwal’s image.

However, several AAP leaders including Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia took to Twitter to back Kejriwal’s comments.

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