Acting tough over Ramdev’s controversial “honeymoon” remark, the Lucknow district administration has banned all programmes the yoga guru in the city till May 16 — the scheduled day for counting of votes in the Lok Sabha elections.
In a related development, the Election Commission came out with fresh guidelines barring people from making “malicious” statements about the private life of individuals and said those violating the directive would be barred from holding events during polls.
Targeting Rahul Gandhi, Ramdev on Friday had said that the Congress vice-president visited the homes of Dalits for “honeymoon and picnic” – a statement that infuriated Congress and several others alike.
Lucknow district magistrate (DM) Raj Shekhar said no permission will be granted to programmes of Ramdev till the Lok Sabha elections are over, besides asserting that permission for the Friday event in which the yoga guru made the remark was taken for holding a yoga camp. Two FIRs have already been lodged over the controversial barb.
“There are reports that Baba Ramdev influenced the crowd to raise slogans in favour of a political party (BJP) and also some pamphlets were distributed there in favour of the particular party. There was no mention of the publisher or printer on the pamphlet,” the DM added. “His statement could have created a law and order situation. To avoid such incidents in future, administration has decided not to grant permission for his programmes till elections,” the official said.
The Rae Bareli district administration has also denied permission for a yoga camp of Ramdev in Salon area on April 30. Salon falls in Amethi Lok Sabha constituency, but its revenue jurisdiction is in Rae Bareli district.
The EC, meanwhile, has cautioned people against invoking religion as it may create disharmony. The chief electoral officers of states have been directed that those who violate the latest guidelines “should not be allowed” to hold programmes during the period of elections. It also said in case of violations, appropriate remedial and penal action should be initiated immediately.