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A Hindu seer slapped a journalist in Madhya Pradesh's Jabalpur when the latter asked a question about the prospects of Bharatiya Janata Party's Narendra Modi becoming the prime minister of the country.
Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati, who is considered to be close to the Congress party, was approached by the journalist associated with a regional TV news channel for an interview on Tuesday night at a Jabalpur temple, about 375 km east of state capital Bhopal.
The seer had warned Abhishek Sharma and had told him not to ask any political question. However, when Sharma sought his opinion about Modi, the seer lost his temper and slapped him.
Sharma, however, is not willing to lodge a formal complaint with the police.
"He is a revered saint. Unfortunately, he lost his temper. The incident was nothing but a professional hazard," Sharma told HT.
However, in a press conference, the very next day the Shankaracharya mostly talked about politics.
In the press conference, he said that Modi, Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal are not suitable for the post of the country's top job because they lack clarity in their speeches on progress of the country and about uprooting the menace of corruption.
The state BJP unit did not speak about the issue. Its spokesperson, Vijendra Sisodia, said he would be able to comment only after gathering information about the incident.
However, senior BJP leader Prahlad Patel - who has been vocal against the Shankaracharya - said that media never believes his words against the seer but the fact remained that such people do immense damage to 'sanatan dharma'.
Patel said there was a major difference in being a 'sanyasi' and 'undergoing a ritual of sanyas.'