A day after a minister Kavita Jain broke down in the Assembly after a woman Congress MLA Geeta Bhukkal passed remarks against her, Congress MLAs Thursday staged a protest in the Assembly for alleged remarks against Congress MLAs by minister Manish Grover. Senior Congress leaders including Randeep Singh Surjewala, CLP leader Kiran Choudhry, Kuldeep Sharma, Anand Singh Dangi, Karan Singh Dalal and Geeta Bhukkal rushed to the Well of the House on three occasions in protest asking the Speaker to tell Grover to tender apology. It all started when a Congress MLA Karan Singh Dalal commented on Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev. “He is now not a Baba Ramdev but “Seth Ramdev” as he has now turned a businessman,” said Dalal, inviting anger of BJP MLAs.
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Dalal’s comments came after state Tourism Minister Ram Bilas Sharma had answered a question raised during the Question Hour by BJP MLA from Kalka Latika Sharma, who wanted to know the government’s proposal to develop Morni area of her constituency into a tourist spot. The BJP and Congress indulged in heated exchange as Dalal’s comments had infuriated members of the saffron party. Dalal even alleged that the government did not follow due process in signing an MOU with Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth to develop the herbal forest at Morni in Panchkula district.
According to Dalal, other businessmen like him (Baba Ramdev) should also have been given a fair opportunity to compete to get the herbal project. Ramdev was earlier appointed as brand ambassador by the Manohar Lal Khattar government for promotion of Yoga and Ayurveda. Health Minister Anil Vij clarified that no land had been transferred to Patanjali Yogpeeth and that only an MoU with Patanjali Anusandhan Sansthan Divya Yog Mandir Trust, Haridwar, had been signed for developing World Herbal Forest in Morni in district Panchkula. “Swami Ramdev will only offer free consultation for the development of a herbal forest in Morni area. He will neither take any financial or commercial benefit from this project, nor would he have right of ownership of the land,” Vij added.
However, Dalal said, “Seth Ramdev Kaho (call him Seth Ramdev).” Haryana Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ram Bilas Sharma tried to clarify Ramdev’s role in developing the world herbal forest, but dissatisfied Congress MLAs started to walk out of the House when Cooperation Minister Manish Grover passed some remarks, which made Congress MLAs angry. Surjewala alleged that Grover’s remarks were also an insult to the two senior woman legislators of the Congress, Geeta Bhukkal and Shakuntala Khatak. Taking a dig at Surjewala for his maiden appearance in the House on Thursday, Finance Minister Capt Abhimanyu said, “He has come in guest appearance and is now using threatening gestures towards the Chair and raising questions…”