Yoga evangelist Ramdev on Saturday accused the government of diverting attention from "real" issues by nominating Sachin Tendulkar to the Rajya Sabha and accused it of "pressuring" the cricketer into accepting the position.
"The government is trying to divert attention from its poor performance. If it really wants to honour him, Sachin should be given a Bharat Ratna," Ramdev said at a media conference.
Asked whether he thought Tendulkar was "pressured" into accepting the nomination, Ramdev said, "It (accusations of pressuring the cricketer) does not appear to be baseless. (But) Sachin is a responsible citizen. It is for him to decide."
Ramdev said the government was using Tendulkar to improve its battered image, adding, "The government is trying to turn away from real issues of inflation, corruption and black money."
When asked if he was happy with Sachin's nomination, Ramdev quickly replied, "Why should I be unhappy with the nomination? But we would be more happy if he raised his voice against corruption in the system and black money."
The nomination has provided people with an opportunity to ask the cricketer if he will remain silent or speak up on real issues, Ramdev said.
Ramdev was talking to the media about his Bharat Swabhiman Yatra.