Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah on Tuesday came out in support of yoga guru Ramdev, two days after the Patanjali founder said he would cut off heads of those who refuse to chant "bharat mata ki jai" if not for the law, reported The Hindu. “Baba Ramdev is not a member of the BJP. However, I want to know from those who talk of free speech, does it not apply to Baba Ramdev,” Shah said, even as Union minister Venkaiah Naidu spelled out the Centre's position that it is not mandatory for someone to chant the slogan.

“In a democracy, people will say so many things. At the end, what the government decides is binding on all,” Naidu said on Tuesday, stressing that the government has not issued any circular to the effect. About Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's remark that people who refuse to chant the patriotic slogan – which many believe has religious implications – should leave the country, the parliamentary affairs minister said, “Did the chief minister pass any legislation on it?”