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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Ramdev lashes out at Congress in Himachal despite EC ban

Agencies  New Delhi, April 28, 2014
First Published: 16:03 IST(28/4/2014) | Last Updated: 16:08 IST(28/4/2014)

Yoga guru Ramdev on Monday lashed out at the Congress despite the ban imposed on him by the Election Commission in Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, saying it's the party that has insulted Dalits and the poor by starving them.

Ramdev, a supporter of Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi had made a remark against Rahul Gandhi in Lucknow on April 25 saying the Congress vice-president "goes to houses of Dalits for picnics and honeymoon".

"The mother-son duo is responsible for the problems in the country. They have used their power to make (Robert) Vadra rich," he said.

Despite the EC ban on his meetings in the state earlier in the day, Ramdev held a press conference and offered his views on his "honeymoon" remark.

"I used the word 'honeymoon' in a political context and they have changed the context," Ramdev said in Kangra.

He accused Rahul Gandhi of going to Dalit houses just for photo-ops.

The yoga guru also said he has approached the Supreme Court against the EC ban and accused the Congress of issuing dikats to the poll panel.

"The EC is under the Congress' control. The Congress is not allowing the EC to work properly. The Congress is pressuring the EC to ban my yoga sessions. The Congress is going through acute depression," he was quoted as saying by CNN-IBN.

The EC on Monday banned Ramdev's camps in Chamba and Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh a day after the poll panel banned all his programmes in Lucknow till May 16, the day Lok Sabha poll results would be announced.

The EC had taken him to task saying the comments amounted to an "attack on a personal life" and were offensive and designed to create "disharmony among different classes or groups of people."

Ramdev has drawn flak from various sections following his controversial remark against Rahul Gandhi and various Dalit organisations across the country have filed FIRs against him.

He later apologised for the remarks saying he was "misunderstood" and didn't mean to hurt the sentiments of the Dalits.


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