Rahul goes to Dalit homes for "honeymoons, picnics": Ramdev
New Delhi, April 25, 2014
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev, who has been openly campaigning for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, stirred a hornet's nest today by saying that Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi visits Dalit homes for "honeymoons and picnics".
Congress leaders and Dalit and women activists reacted angrily to the jibe and said the Election Commission as well as the National Commission for Scheduled Castes must take suo motu notice of the remarks and act against him.
Addressing a press conference in Lucknow during the day, Baba Ramdev said he and BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi were unmarried by choice, while Mr Gandhi was still single because he was not lucky enough to find a girl to marry.
Warming up to the topic, Baba Ramdev went on to say that Mr Gandhi wanted to marry a foreigner but his mother, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, was not in favour of this because that would affect his chances of becoming the Prime Minister of the country.
He said Mrs Gandhi was, therefore, waiting for him to become the Prime Minister before he married a foreigner.
Baba Ramdev said Mr Gandhi kept going to Dalit homes for "honeymoons and picnics" but was unwilling to marry a "desi" girl.
"If he had married a Dalit girl, the girl would have benefitted from his wealth, and he, too, would have gained by becoming the Prime Minister," he said.
As the remarks turned into a major controversy, Baba Ramdev appeared on a television channel and said he had not meant it in the way his words were being intepreted and that he had been criticising Mr Gandhi for staging such "photo opportunities".
When the channel played back his remarks for him, he said that words could often be misinterpreted, and withdrew them because they appeared to have caused hurt, stopping short of an apology.