The Election Commission on Friday directed its officials in states not to give permission to organisations to hold non-political camps like yoga ‘shivirs’ if there is a possibility that such platforms could be used to campaign for a particular party.
Baba Ramdev addresses a press conference in New Delhi. AFP Photo/Raveendran
The commission’s directive follows complaints by political parties that yoga guru Ramdev was using his programmes to campaign for the BJP. The EC said it has come to its notice that in certain places while permission was sought by organisations to hold apolitical activities like yoga camps, the platform was used for political campaigning “in clear violation of the conditions on which the permission was granted”.
The commission has cautioned all state chief electoral officers to check the antecedents of the organizers before granting permission to hold such camps or shivirs. “If there is a possibility of such misuse, or such a permission has been misused by either the organiser or the participants on earlier occasions, the permission should not be given,” the EC directive states.
A recent camp organised by yoga guru Ramdev was addressed by BJP PM nominee Narendra Modi, following which the yoga guru was issued a notice by the poll authorities for violating the Model Code of Conduct.