Ramdev backs Sushma Swaraj, settles scores with Cong, Nitish | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Ramdev backs Sushma Swaraj, settles scores with Cong, Nitish

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev who stood by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj for helping controversial former IPL chief Lalit Modi, settled scores with the Congress leaders as well as Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on different issues here on Tuesday.

chandigarh Updated: Jun 16, 2015 20:17 IST
HT Correspondent

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev who stood by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj for helping controversial former IPL chief Lalit Modi, settled scores with the Congress leaders as well as Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on different issues here on Tuesday.

Interacting with newspersons here at a meet-the-press programme, Ramdev said he saw nothing wrong in Swaraj’s gesture to help Lalit Modi visit his ailing wife who was suffering from cancer. “Mein Sushmaji ki 20 varshon se personal aur political life ko janta hoon, unhon ne Modi ki manaviya aadhaar pe madad ki hai (I know Sushma’s personal and political life for the past 20 years and she had helped Modi only on humanitarian grounds),” he said. Lalit Modi was removed by IPL on corruption charges in 2013.

On the question of Himachal Pradesh Congress government’s taking back the land in Sadhupul in district Solan in Himachal Pradesh from his yogpeeth, Ramdev quipped that though Virbhadra Singh is a bhadra (decent) person, this action of his was abhadra (not decent). Given by erstwhile BJP government to Patanjali yogpeeth in 2010, the land was taken back by Congress government in 2013.

To another question on the reported comment by Nitish Kumar that he was minting money from herbal products, Ramdev took a dig at Kumar and said that it was time latter learnt a entrepreneurial thing or two from him to promote the same and bring prosperity to the state. To another comment of Kumar that he was also ignoring Bihar’s contribution in Yoga popularity, Ramdev who named several of the Yoga gurus of Bihar specially its Munger district said that it was wrong as he had always given due respect to them. “Nitish ko apna intelligence achcha karna chahiye (Nitish would better improve his intelligence),” he said.

On his reaction to the opposition to Yoga by some Congress’ leaders, he categorically said that all Congress leaders, including Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and even Sonia Gandhi practiced yoga. He advised Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to take to yoga instead of opposing the day. Backing Haryana health minister Anil Vij – who accompanied him at the function – he said all the parties should join in the ‘International Yoga Day’ as it was an honour for the country and not just a political party.

Earlier, he told newspersons that he planned to set up one lakh free yoga classes in the country by this year-end. Having been bombarded with questions on the commercialization of herbal products manufactured by his Yogpeeth, he said that he regretted that many still mistook yoga with daridrata (poverty), one could be affluent and yet live a frugal life.

Digs at media

Ramdev who credited the media for the growth of yoga and his swadeshi (national products) movement, however, candidly also took personal questions on his political affiliations. “Right from the vedic times when Lord Krishna himself indulged in politics to many genius teachers like Chanakya, he too had a role to play to help a fair political system evolve in the country. “Aur un maharishiyon ne to yudh bhi karvayee, mein koi yudh to nahi karva raha (even the God and genius teachers paved way for wars, he was not into it),” he said.

Lecdem on aasan

Ramdev also sent the mediapersons in splits while replying to a question on a particular aasan to shed stress and asked them too to do it. He himself gave a lecture-cum-demonstration (lecdem) of the same. Though hardly any one did it, he made the office-holders of the Press Club as well as Haryana health minister Anil Vij do it, thus giving ample opportunity to the photographers for a grab or two.