Yoga guru Ramdev on Sunday faced more heat over his controversial “honeymoon” remark against Rahul Gandhi, with authorities banning all his programmes in Lucknow till the elections are over and Congress demanding that he be arrested.
It came a day after FIRs were filed against Mr. Ramdev in Lucknow and Sonbhadra over his remarks that had sparked massive outrage with Congress, BSP and others terming them “anti-dalit” though Mr. Ramdev later expressed regret to the community.
“All the programmes of Mr. Ramdev have been banned in Lucknow. The district administration had earlier taken an affidavit from Mr. Ramdev that only yoga programmes will be held by his organisation and no remarks will be made which could hurt any religion or community,” a senior official told PTI.
However, Mr. Ramdev has made remarks which have led to protests due to which all his programmes in the city have been banned till May 16, he added.
Mr. Ramdev, who is supporting BJP, had on April 25 said, “Rahul Gandhi goes to houses of Dalits for honeymoon and picnic.”
Congress on Sunday stepped up attack on the yoga guru demanding his arrest.
“He has insulted the Dalit community...there are certain crimes which cannot be pardoned,” party leader Rashid Alvi told reporters in Delhi.
Congress spokesperson Neem Afzal said he should be arrested and cases should be slapped against him under the SC and ST Act.
In the backdrop of the controversy, the Election Commission (EC) has come out with fresh guidelines barring people from making “malicious” statements about the private life of individuals and said those violating the directive would not be allowed to hold programmes during polls.
The EC also cautioned people against invoking religion as it may create disharmony.
Congress had on Saturday termed as “shameful and despicable” Mr. Ramdev’s controversial remarks and had sought an unconditional apology from him as well as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, alleging the yoga guru is part of his coterie.
The Left parties and BSP too had demanded legal action against Mr. Ramdev.