Yoga guru Baba Ramdev on Thursday waded into the controversy over the “Bharat Mata ki Jai” slogan by saying that the law should be amended so that everyone chants it.
“Even though it is not written in the Constitution that one should say “Bharat Mata ki Jai”, there should be no problem in chanting it,” said Ramdev. “Therefore, an amendment should be made in the law so that everyone says it.”
The slogan has taken political centre stage since March 14, when All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi said he would not chant “Bharat Mata ki Jai” even if a knife was put to his throat. He was responding to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat’s call to chant slogans in support of the country such as “Bharat Mata ki Jai”. A few days later, MIM legislator Waris Pathan was suspended from the Maharashtra assembly for refusing to chant the slogan, with leaders cutting across party lines demanding the action.
Later in the day, Ramdev denied claims by the Congress that he was behind a plot to bring down the party-led government in Uttarakhand.
“Not even in my dream did I have a talk with any Congress MLA or party worker,” said Ramdev. “Whatever we do, we do it openly. If we have to make or break something we do it openly we don t do anything with a hidden agenda behind the curtains,"
On Wednesday, Kishore Upadhyay, the president of the Congress’ state unit, had accused Ramdev of joining hands with BJP chief Amit Shah to topple the Harish Rawat government.
The yoga guru runs a business empire that includes FMCG products and yoga ashrams valued at more than Rs 2,000 crores. His operations are headquartered in Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
Last week, nine Congress legislators had sided with the opposition BJP. The chief minister faces a trust vote on March 28 to prove his majority.
After Ramdev’s denial on Thursday, Congress spokesperson Mathuradutt Joshi said that Ramdev had scores to settle with the incumbent government as there are number of cases against his trust for alleged irregularities.
Ramdev's run in the news produced some humour and sarcasm. He was even compared to mystical faith healer Rasputin, who is believed to have exerted great influence on the last Tsar of Russia in the early 20th century.