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Row over Congress MPs alleged slur against Baba Ramdev

February 19, 2011 21:37 IST
Yoga guru Ramdev on Saturday alleged that he was called a 'bloody Indian' by a Congress member of Parliament from Arunchal Pradesh in public view during a yoga camp in the state, a charge denied by the lawmaker even as the incident drew condemnation from the Bharatiya Janata Party.

"He is calling me bloody Indian. In India, I am being called a bloody Indian. This has happened for the first time," Ramdev said pointing to Congress Ninong Ering, who was standing near the dais where the yoga guru was sitting during the camp at Pasighat in East Siang, about 280 km from Itanagar.

However, the MP denied saying anything against Ramdev and claimed that he had only objected after the yoga guru levelled allegations of corruption against the Nehru-Gandhi family and the central government.

"This is very unfortunate. I never said anything against him. At the end of the session, he started speaking about politics so I said 'Babaji, I think we should stick to yoga instead of going into politics'. I think he couldn't hear me, then his bodyguards came and pushed me," Ering who represents Eastern Arunachal constituency said.

District Magistrate Onit Panyang said Education Minister Bosiram Siram had intervened and sought an apology from Ering.

The BJP was quick to condemn the alleged remarks made by the lawmaker, saying the MP had no right to sit in Parliament if he did not consider himself an Indian. "Ering's comments are utterly irresponsible and seditious. He has abused Baba Ramdev and called him a bloody Indian. We condemn this outburst. Ramdev is a revered figure," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

The principal opposition also asked Ering if he considered himself an Indian. "When he calls somebody a bloody Indian does Ering not recognise Arunachal Pradesh to be a part of India? If he does not consider himself an Indian then he has no right to sit in the Parliament," he said.

The BJP demanded that the Congress and the government take "immediate action" against Ering. The Congress, meanwhile, said that it was looking into the matter.

"Nobody should use uncivilised language in any walk of life," Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said but quickly added he would comment only after inquiring into the matter.

"We will inquire into it. We respect Baba Ramdev for his contribution in the field of yoga. We will comment once the concerned general secretary in-charge apprises us," Ahmed said.

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