news Monday, June 22, 2015 - 05:30
Vice President Hamid Ansari; Image source WikipediaT International Yoga Day was more than eventful for senior BJP and RSS leader Ram Madhav. Earlier on Sunday, Madhav had tweeted complaining about why the Vice President Hamid Ansari had not attended the yoga programme. After the backlash started on Twitter, Madhav tried to douse the flames by tweeting that he had got word that the VP was unwell and had not been able to attend the function as a result. Soon, though, the VP’s office responded saying that the “Vice President was not sick. He was never invited for the yoga programme,” a statement to NDTV said. The statement from the VP’s office contradicted Madhav’s reasoning for his absence. In hindsight, if Ram Madhav hadn't stoked the controversy, the government could have been saved from some embarrassment. As now, the VP's office was forced to divulge that he was not invited for the event.  However, this was reportedly done following protocol.  The event at Rajpath had been organised by the AYUSH ministry and Shripad Nayak, MoS AYUSH, told PTI that it was following protocol that the Vice-President was not invited. When the Prime Minister is chief guest at an event, the President or Vice-President cannot be invited to the event because both are above the PM in order of precendence.  "When the Prime Minister is chief guest, then inviting the Vice President is not proper. That's why we did not send the invite to him. President and Vice President are above the Prime Minister as per order of precedence and we cannot invite them accordingly," he said.  He also added that Madhav may have made the statement by mistake.   Though Madhav deleted his tweets, some Twitter users kept a snapshot handy and shared it. Madhav had also fired another allegation in his earlier tweets. He alleged that Rajya Sabha TV, the public broadcaster had blacked out the Yoga Day coverage “completely”. As the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Ansari is in charge of RSTV.   Screenshot of tweet/Twitter Users on social media criticised the BJP MP for going after Ansari because of him being Muslim and with the entire rhetoric of "Muslims don’t do yoga" at play. These allegations were flouted on Twitter too by Gurdeep Singh Sappal, Editor-in-Chief, Rajya Sabha TV, who tweeted saying that these were “Baseless rumours. RSTV not just did live telecast of Rajpath event. But also had 3 documentaries, 1 special report today on Yoga.” He added by saying that the channel was being subject to “baseless allegations” again.   अंतरराष्ट्रीय योग दिवस परRSTV पर योग पर तीन डाक्यूमेंट्री, आयुष पर स्पेशल रिपोर्ट , 2 सीधे प्रसारण रहे। — Gurdeep Singh Sappal (@gurdeepsappal) June 21, 2015 एक बार फिर RSTV के ख़िलाफ़बेबुनियाद अफ़वाह - कि हमने योग दिवस का ब्लैक आउट किया। सरासर झूठ। आज राजपथ और योग कान्फ्रेससे RSTV पर लाइव रहा। — Gurdeep Singh Sappal (@gurdeepsappal) June 21, 2015