NEW DELHI: Punjabi singer and BJP candidate from North West Delhi in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls Hans Raj Hans on Friday said he would file a defamation case against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders for "maligning" his image.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has accused Hans of converting to Islam in 2014 and claimed that he cannot contest the election from North West Delhi as the seat is reserved for the Scheduled Caste (SC) category.
"I am used to speaking Urdu but that does not mean I am a Muslim. Does a Muslim speaking Hindi become a Hindu?," Hans asked at a press conference here.
In a tweet on Thursday, AAP supremo Kejriwal had claimed that Hans would finally be declared ineligible to contest the polls and urged the voters of North West Delhi not to waste their votes on him.
Hans denied the charge and said he would have been disowned by his family had he changed his religion.
"I was born in a Valmiki family and my mother worships Valmiki. She would have killed me had I converted to Islam," he said.
Accusing the AAP chief of spreading fake news, Hans said, "I am deeply hurt. I have a passport in the name of Hans Raj Hans. I will file a defamation case against Kejriwal and other AAP leaders."
At a press conference on Thursday, Kejriwal's cabinet colleague Rajendra Pal Gautam cited news reports claiming that Hans had converted to Islam and that the BJP candidate did not disclose this information in his nomination papers.
Hans said by accusing him of converting to Islam, Kejriwal and other AAP leaders had also hurt the sentiments of the Valmiki community.
"I pity his (Kejriwal's) intelligence. He seems to be scared that the Valmiki community will not vote for him," he said.
Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta said Kejriwal and his party were "losing credibility" by levelling baseless allegations on their opponents and then seeking apologies.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) denied a poll ticket to Udit Raj, the sitting MP from North West Delhi, and fielded Hans from the seat.
Raj joined the Congress subsequently. Hans is pitted against Rajesh Lilothia of the Congress and Gugan Singh of the AAP in North West Delhi.
Polling for all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi will be held on May 12 and the results will be announced on May 23.