Amit Shah backs Baba Ramdev, asks 'Does freedom of expression not apply to him'
New Delhi: BJP president Amit Shah has come out in support of yoga guru Baba Ramdev over later's controversial remarks over chanting of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai'.
“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 asked in an interview to a private TV channel.
Earlier, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu has said that views expressed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Baba Ramdev do not reflect government’s position and added he doesn’t agree with it himself.
He said that it is not mandatory to chant the slogan.
Asked about the statements that came from Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, yoga guru Baba Ramdev, and Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh leader Bhaiyaji Joshi, Mr. Naidu said he is “not in agreement” with them.
“Has the government issued any circular?” he asked.
“In a democracy, people will say so many things. At the end, what the government decides is binding on all,” Mr. Naidu said at an interaction with the Indian Women Press Corps.
Two days ago, Mr. Fadnavis sparked a major controversy after he said those who do not chant the slogan should leave India, while Baba Ramdev addeed to the fuel saying he would have “beheaded lakhs” for the same, but for the law of the land.
Opposition parties have criticised the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh over the statements. Influential Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband recently issued a fatwa that it was not proper for Muslims to chant “Bharat Mata ki Jai”.