Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal washed utensils at the Golden Temple and tendered an apology for showing disrespect to Sikh's one of most sacred and revered place of worship 'Golden Temple' and their holy book Sri Guru Granth Sahib by his party.
Amidst heavy security cover thrown by police en route from Circuit House, where Kejriwal had stayed overnight, to the Golden Temple and by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee's task force inside the holy shrine, Kejriwal arrived at the Golden Temple at around 3.45 AM on Monday with his senior party leaders to tender the apology and perform sewa (voluntary service).
Kejriwal first went to Langar (community kitchen ) of the Golden Temple and washed utensils for 45 minutes following which he took Parikarma (circumambulations) and sat there with his colleagues for about half an hour before going to sanctum sanctorum of the holy shrine for paying obeisance.
The Delhi chief minister was accompanied by senior party leadership including Sucha Singh Chhotepur, Sanjay Singh, and H.S. Phoolka. Lok Sabha MP Bhagwant Mann and spokesperson Sukhpal Khaira.
"While releasing the manifesto, we inadvertently made some mistakes. To repent for those mistakes, we performed sewa today. We also paid obeisance at the Golden Temple. We felt at peace after performing sewa,” Kejriwal said after spending around two hours inside the shrine.
Earlier this month, a complaint was filed against the party's spokesperson Ashish Khetan, who was accused of hurting Sikh sentiment by comparing the manifesto with religious books.
"This is our bible, our Gita and our Guru Granth Sahib," Mr Khetan had said while unveiling the 51-point manifesto at an event. Mr Kejriwal, who was also present at the time, was criticized on social media with hash tags like #KejriinsultsGoldenTemple.
Mr Khetan apologized saying he didn't mean to disrespect the holy books, but many Sikh leaders said it was not enough. Punjab's Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had called it an "act of blasphemy".
The controversy has hit AAP at a time it is preparing for an aggressive election campaign in Punjab, hoping to emerge as a formidable third party in what has traditionally been a direct contest between the Akali Dal-BJP and the Congress.