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Baba Ramdev booked, banned and cornered

Ramdev booked in Maharashtra and Rajasthan under SC/ST Act, faces court case in Bihar; his yoga camps banned in Himachal Pradesh over ‘honeymoon’ remarks targeting Rahul Gandhi

Shimla/Nagpur: After action by the Uttar Pradesh authorities, yoga guru Ramdev was yesterday banned from conducting programmes in Himachal Pradesh, and booked in Maharashtra and Rajasthan under the SC/ST Act for his “honeymoon” remark targeting Rahul Gandhi, but he said he would move court against the curbs.

Terming the ban on his yoga camps as undemocratic, Ramdev alleged the government had pressurised the Election Commission to put the curbs, and accused the Congress of “distorting” his remarks against Rahul, that have been slammed as “anti- Dalit”, for vote-bank politics.

On Saturday, FIRs were filed against Ramdev in Lucknow and Sonbhadra in UP over his remarks. Authorities in Lucknow and Amethi yesterday banned all his programmes till May 16. Two more FIR have now been lodged in Nagpur and Jaipur under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Atrocities Act.

Ramdev apologises
Ramdev reiterated that his remarks were “distorted and misinterpreted”. “I have already apologised but Congress is raking up the issue as it is using the dalits as vote bank,” he said. He added, “The statement I made has been misrepresented.

The phrase ‘honeymoon period is over’ is commonly used in political language. I tried to use it in that sense.... I had no intention of insulting Rahul or the Dalit community.... I express regret if the use of that term has hurt the feelings of any community, especially the Dalits.”

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