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People Can Follow the Religion They Like but Should Not Insult Other Faiths: Athawale

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Last Updated: October 09, 2022, 19:33 IST

A video clip showing AAP's Delhi minister Rajendra Pal Gautam at an event where hundreds took a pledge to convert to Buddhism while denouncing Hindu deities went viral. (File photo/News18)

A video clip showing AAP’s Delhi minister Rajendra Pal Gautam at an event where hundreds took a pledge to convert to Buddhism while denouncing Hindu deities went viral. (File photo/News18)

Condemning the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for a controversial religious conversion event, Athawale said the party should be taught a lesson and alleged that its leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has often spoken against the Hindu religion

Union minister and BJP ally Ramdas Athawale on Sunday said while people have a constitutional right to follow the religion they like, they should not defame or insult other religions.

Condemning the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for a controversial religious conversion event, he said the party should be taught a lesson and alleged that its leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has often spoken against the Hindu religion.

“I condemn this incident. Insulting other faiths is against the spirit of the Constitution which B R Ambedkar gave us. It envisages harmony among all religions and Ambedkar was always for this,” Athawale said. The Republican Party leader noted that he is himself a Buddhist and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi also believes in the philosophy of Buddhism and the ideals espoused by Ambedkar.

After a video clip showing AAP’s Delhi minister Rajendra Pal Gautam at an event where hundreds took a pledge to convert to Buddhism while denouncing Hindu deities went viral, the BJP has been targeting the party. Gautam had noted that the pledges made in the event were part of the 22 vows administered by Ambedkar when he had converted to Buddhism. He later apologised as the BJP targeted the AAP.

Athawale said, “People have a constitutional right to follow the faith they like but they should not defame or insult other faiths. It is not good. This is against the spirit of the Constitution. The Constitution given by Ambedkar is for harmony among all religions.” Hindus are like our brothers and it is not appropriate to speak against their gods, he said, adding that he has always worked to bring together people of different religions.

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