Hindu seer Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand, who has many politicians including Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh as his followers, slapped a journalist in Jabalpur Tuesday when asked to comment on the possibility of Narendra Modi becoming the next prime minister.
ďHat yahan se, faltu baat karta hai (Move away, youíre talking nonsense),Ē the seer said while slapping the journalist.
Though Swaroopanand initially admitted to the act on Wednesday, he claimed it was his duty to show the right path to everyone, including scribes.
Later, put on the defensive after TV channels aired the footage, the seer claimed he had been advised by doctors not to let people near him to prevent catching a disease. He said he had merely pushed the camera away when the reporter came too close.
On Modi, he later said he is neither for, nor against the Gujarat CM.
Singh, meanwhile, claimed the journalist was drunk and behaved indecently. He said he had inquired with the staff present during the incident, and sought an apology from the reporter and the owner of the channel. Local reporters, however, refuted Singhís allegations.