After social activist Anna Hazare and his team, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev has stoked a controversy calling MPs “dacoits and murderers,” evoking strong condemnation from parliamentarians who asserted that such “insults” are unacceptable.
Addressing the media while launching his month-long yatra in Chhattisgarh's Durg on Tuesday, Baba Ramdev said there were good people among the parliamentarians and he respected them. “But there are dacoits, murderers, illiterates among them. We have to save Parliament. We have to remove corrupt people.”
He accused the MPs of not caring for farmers and labourers.
“They are friends and slaves of money. They are illiterate, dacoits and murderers. They are devils in the form of humans, who we have elected to those posts. They are not worth it,” he said.
The issue was raised in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday with Speaker Meira Kumar and several MPs, including senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, not mincing words in deprecating the Yoga guru's utterances and asked people to show respect to Parliament.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad was also unsparing in his criticism saying the yoga guru was a frustrated man and a “mental case.”
“Ramdev is frustrated, whoever speaks like this is frustrated. He is a mental case,” Mr. Prasad told reporters.
Samajwadi Party member Shailendra Kumar sought action under the rules of parliamentary privilege against people making such “derogatory” references against MPs. Such derogatory remarks made openly on public platforms amounted to breach of privilege of Parliament, he said.
The Speaker said, “The Constitution is supreme. It has granted a certain position to Parliament. We all should take care of this first.”
Lashing out at Baba Ramdev, Mr. Sinha said insult of Parliament and lawmakers and indeed that of Constitution had become a norm now. “And who insults the more is a bigger hero now. This is absolutely wrong. Nobody has the authority, no matter how big the individual is, .... it insults the democratic institutions.”
BJP MP Kirti Azad said, “It has come to such a situation that in this country, nowadays anybody can speak anything and get away with it. No one seems to be in any control. However, I am surprised that Ramdev made such remarks.”
Union Minister Harish Rawat said Ramdev was raising a question mark on the whole democratic set-up.
Congress MP Jagadambika Pal said character assassination of Parliament and parliamentarians was not acceptable.
As his comments enraged parliamentarians, the Yoga guru on Wednesday sought to defend his remarks saying he had repeatedly noted that there were many “good” politicians in different parties.
“But there are certain people who are corrupt, have allegations of being characterless, have criminal charges and socially have a bad name. I have not said anything new. I have been saying it for long. That is why, the honest, good politicians do not have any objection to what I have said. But those who are corrupt, and have criminal records, they will obviously object to what I have said,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Hazare came to the defence of the Yoga guru saying whatever he had said “is not wrong.”
“There is one thing that whatever Ramdev has said is not wrong. If it is wrong, there is proof against so many people today. When parties give tickets, why they give it to tainted people,” Mr. Hazare asked.