The much-celebrated Yoga-day observance, turned into a political controversy, as Hamid Ansari, the Vice President of India, was found absent at the venue. The issue flared up as senior RSS and BJP leader Ram Madhav, in a tweet, questioned the absence of the VP. The Vice President’s office responded with a statement, reported by the PTI, clarifying that he had not been invited to the event at Rajpath.
Madhav was quick to delete the tweet and to apologize, as he learnt that Ansari was, apparently, suffering form ‘bad health’ on the day.
However, the VP’s office made it clear, that he was doing very well on the day and the lack of an invite was the reason for his absence. “Vice-President was not sick. He was never invited for the yoga programme,” PTI quoted from the statement.
Ram Madhav also accused Rajyasabha TV of completely “blacking out” the telecast of the Yoga-day programme, despite it being run on taxpayers’ money. The Vice President, who is also the Chairman of Rajya Sabha, is the controlling authority of the channel. But Gurdeep Singh Sappal, CEO of Rajya Sabha TV, contradicted the statement, calling it ‘baseless rumor. “RSTV not just did live telecast of Rajpath event but also had 3 documentaries and one special report today on Yoga”, he tweeted. He also posted the link to the programme on YouTube, saying, “For those who missed it, link to PM’s address on Yoga Day, carried Live on RSTV”.
When the issue started burning, Ram Madhav deleted both the tweets including, the apology. Later, Sappal tweeted, saying that, “Apart from the live telecast of functions led by both Narendra Modi and Sushma Swaraj, RSTV’s Yoga day telecast had three documentaries on Yoga and a special report on Ayush.”
Meanwhile, insult to the VP is being largely opposed on social media platforms, with the now viral hashtag, “#IstandWithHamidAnsari”