Business News/ News / India/  AAP names Rajendra Pal Gautam as a star candidate for Delhi Municipal Corporation elections: Why it is controversial

A list of 30 star campaigners for the Delhi Municipal Corporation elections has been made public by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The list includes Rajendra Pal Gautam of the AAP, who resigned as a minister due to his attendance at a religious conversion event.

AAP has given ticket to Rajendra Pal Gautam for the Delhi Municipal Corporation elections.
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AAP has given ticket to Rajendra Pal Gautam for the Delhi Municipal Corporation elections.

Gautam was appointed minister in 2016 and has been doing so ever then. He is an MLA from the Seemapuri assembly constituency. He was reinstated into the Kejriwal cabinet in 2020, when the AAP won the election three times. One of the party's well-liked Dalit faces is him.

Gautam resigned in October as Delhi’s social welfare minister and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of engaging in "dirty politics" while also receiving threat calls from some right-wing persons. His attendance at a "mass religious conversion" event earlier sparked a political controversy.

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According to media reports, hundreds of people who had converted to Buddhism from Hinduism attended the "conversion" celebration. The Ashoka Vijaya Dashami celebrations at Ambedkar Bhawan in Jhandewalan had 10,000 Hindus converted to Buddhism.

In a recording of the occasion, a monk wearing saffron shared the dais with Gautam and administered an oath to the gathered Hindus. The oath said the people who were getting converted would have “no faith in Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh". Nor would they worship them as God. “I will have no faith in Rama or Krishna, nor will I worship them. I will have no faith in Gauri, Ganapati and other Hindu Gods, nor will I worship them," the oath said.

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The AAP, which is in power in the city, came under fire for the incident from the BJP, which requested that the party remove the legislator for hurting people's feelings.

Due to his attendance at the religious conversion ceremony, Gautam was asked to appear before the Delhi Police on. The AAP leader claimed on Twitter that he had attended the event in his individual capacity and that it was unrelated to his party or the ministry.

Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Updated: 11 Nov 2022, 07:06 PM IST
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