Uproar in Haryana Assembly over Baba Ramdev issue

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Chandigarh | Updated: March 12, 2015 7:20:31 PM

Haryana Assembly today witnessed uproarious scenes as the Bharatiya Janata Party...

Haryana Assembly today witnessed uproarious scenes as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government came under sharp attack from opposition Congress for allegedly “going out of way to please Baba Ramdev by making him the brand ambassador” for promotion of Yoga and Ayurveda in the state.

Sharp exchanges were witnessed between the ruling benches and the Congress members when opposition MLA from Palwal, Karan Singh Dalal, raised the issue during a discussion on the Governor’s address in the ongoing Budget session.

During his speech, Dalal while quoting a report published in a leading English daily last month, said that while on one hand Prime Minister Narendra Modi had chosen Haryana to launch his ambitious plan for protection of girls, on the other hand pharmacies allegedly owned by the state’s brand ambassador, Baba Ramdev, were selling “medicines” which claim to help women give birth to sons.

This enraged BJP members who got up on their feet and strongly defended Ramdev, asking the Congress MLA to get his facts right.

Health Minister Anil Vij intervened while Dalal was speaking and said that while it was true that Baba Ramdev had been made the state’s brand ambassador to promote Yoga and Ayurveda, there was no truth in the allegation that his pharmacies were selling such medicines.

Vij said after the report’s publication, he looked into the matter and it was revealed that the “Putrajeevak” medicines being sold were “fertility medicines and not ones which claim to guarantee birth of a son after taking these”.

However, heated exchanges continued between the ruling and opposition benches, with Dalal questioning the need to make Ramdev state’s brand ambassador and alleged that the BJP was “going out of way to please Baba Ramdev by making him the ambassador for promotion of Yoga and Ayurveda in the state.”

Dalal also targeted Vij over his bachelor status, prompting the Minister to hit back at him and pointed to a snake’s image on tapestry on the walls of the Assembly, asking the Congress leader to be at least scared of the reptile.

“They (Congress MLAs) want to confuse everything…I along with my Ayush Director had recently met Baba Ramdev and requested him to be our brand ambassador, which he agreed to. We have only entered into a pact with him to promote Yoga and Ayurveda in Haryana, we are not connected with promoting his pharmacy’s medicines in any manner,” Vij stated.

He said there was nothing wrong “if we adopt the time- tested and proven therapies like Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy”.

Vij, the Ambala Cantt MLA, further said that in 6500 villages across the state, Yogshalas and Vyamshalas will be opened over one or two acres of land.

“We want to channelise the energy of our youth into positive things,” he said.

He further said the government intends to introduce Yoga classes during Zero period in schools.

Vij also said the state government has requested Ramdev to hold refresher and training courses for its 500 Ayurveda doctors.

As Vij was speaking, former Speaker and sitting Congress MLA, Kuldeep Sharma took a dig at Ramdev.

“Whether you make him brand ambassador or give him some other position, but you (govt) kindly do one thing which is to auction the ladies suit, wearing which Baba Ramdev had escaped during a protest from the Ramleela maidan in Delhi. Doing so, the government will earn a lot of money through the auction,” Sharma told the ruling BJP members

This statement led to another volley of words between the BJP and Congress members.

Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma remineded Kuldeep that former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who was present in the House, “has admitted that his blood sugar levels were set right by doing Kapal Bharti exercise advised to him by Baba Ramdev”.

Ram Bilas and Kuldeep exchanged barbs and later even told the House their respective educational qualifications in a bid to prove who was better educated.

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