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Not invited to Yoga Day event, says V-P Hamid Ansari after Ram Madhav’ questions ‘absence’

But late in the evening, the Vice-President’s office said that that was not correct, PTI reported. “Vice-President was not sick. He was never invited for the yoga programme,” PTI quoted from the statement.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: June 22, 2015 12:06 pm
International Yoga Day, hamid ansari, international yoga day, 21 june yoga day, UN yoga day, yoga day 2015, yoga asanas, yoga india, yog, benefits of yoga, 21 june, yoga pics, narendra modi, narendra modi yoga, baba ramdev, baba ramdev yoga, yoga news, delhi news, india news, indiian express news Vice-President Hamid Ansari

What began as a celebration of yoga before dawn on Sunday threatened to turn into a bitter political fight before the day was over — after Vice-President Hamid Ansari’s office clarified that he had not been invited to the event at Rajpath.

The statement from Ansari’s office- reported by PTI- appeared to be in response to tweets posted by senior RSS and BJP leader Ram Madhav, who questioned Ansari’s absence at the event. Madhav subsequently deleted the tweet and apologised to the V-P, saying he had learnt that Ansari was unwell.

But late in the evening, the Vice-President’s office said that that was not correct, PTI reported. “Vice-President was not sick. He was never invited for the yoga programme,” PTI quoted from the statement.

“The Vice-President only attends those programmes in which the Minister concerned invites him as per protocol.”

Madhav also accused Rajya Sabha TV of “completely” blacking out live telecast of the Yoga Day event, despite it being run on taxpayers’ money. As Rajya Sabha chairman, Ansari is the controlling authority for the channel.

This was contradicted by Gurdeep Singh Sappal, CEO of Rajya Sabha TV.

“Baseless rumours. RSTV not just did live telecast of Rajpath event. But also had 3 documentaries, 1 special report today on Yoga”, he tweeted. He also posted the link to the programme on YouTube, saying, “For those who missed it, link to PM’s address on Yoga Day, carried Live on RSTV”.

As the topic trended on Twitter, Madhav deleted both his tweets, including his apology. Sappal tweeted in Hindi, “Ek baar phir RSTV ke khilaaf bebuniyaad afwaah — ki humne Yog Diwas ka blackout kiya. Sarasar jhooth. Aaj Rajpath aur Yog conference se RSTV par live raha (Once again, baseless rumours against RSTV — that we blacked out Yoga Day. Complete lies. RSTV was live today from Rajpath and yoga conference).”

Later, in a statement, Sappal said the channel had carried live coverage of all major Yoga Day functions, PTI reported.

He said RSTV had broadcast live two functions attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and also aired the UN function attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

All these programmes and special shows on yoga were available on YouTube as well, he added. “The campaign against RSTV is motivated,” Sappal said.

“Apart from live coverage of important functions, RSTV’s Yoga Day fare also had three documentaries on yoga and a special report on AYUSH,” PTI quoted Sappal as having said.

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  1. S
    Jun 22, 2015 at 10:52 am
    why he should be invited though being a VP? its an involuntary programme and when PM is Chief Guest how can a VP or president can be invited....... has he commented any statement asking Muslims to join this Yoga day when the indian politicians (Sickular anti Hindu parties) were crying against this Yoga??? Its sick to tell our nation that Hindus are completely brain washed to be defensive........
    1. M
      Jun 22, 2015 at 8:53 am
      Two mistakes: One was not inviting VP. Had they invited him, he would have definitely come, he is a very pleasant man, like Dr.Kalam. Second mistake. calling him un-patriotic. BJP should apologise to VP for both mistakes. It will be dignified for them to do so. VP will also be happy.
      1. T
        Jun 22, 2015 at 8:48 am
        Tasteless Ram Madhav who would have tutored along with Uma and other Sadhvis
        1. C
          Congress Ka
          Jun 22, 2015 at 7:59 am
          Beats me WHAT IN HEAVENS does this Vice President do all day Everyday? His office surely did not know what their work was - Either they thought he was sick (sick of what I dont know, maybe of all that Luxurious life without any work) and actually issued an official statement he was sick, and then did a Toba toba he was not sick, and wasnt invited at all ..so immature for an office of the Vice president of a huge nation like India ..
          1. S
            Jun 22, 2015 at 9:20 am
            Strange that such intelligent people cannot even apply their mind as to why RSTV should have shown YOGA programme live. Once entire world has accepted 21.6.2015 as International YOGA day pure and simple endeavour should have been to make YOGA reach as many people as possible and National TV would have been the best medium.
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