New Delhi, 22 June (IANS) The Congress on Monday accused the ruling BJP of playing divisive politics and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s apology over his party leader Ram Madhav’s tweets about Vice-President Hamid Ansari.
Madhav, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary, had taken a jibe at Ansari’s absence at Yoga Day celebrations. But he later deleted his remarks.
“Prime minister and BJP general secretary must apologise on this issue. Vice-President (Hamid Ansari) was not invited due to protocol. It was an effort to malign him,” senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said in a press conference here.
Former union minister and senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh was more critical while saying: “Ram Madhav’s comment shows that polarisation was the intention behind Yoga Day.”
“Communal polarisation is the only thing Modi knows. The obnoxious comments by Ram Madhav is a deliberate attempt at polarisation,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Union Minister of state for AYUSH Shripad Naik defended the government’s stand on not inviting the vice-president at the maiden International Yoga Day celebrations at Rajpath.
“We can’t invite the vice-president when the prime minister is the chief guest,” Naik told reporters.
The controversy sparked off after tweets from Ram Madhav which questioned the vice-president’s absence from the International Yoga Day celebrations.
“Two questions. Did RS TV dat runs on tax-payers money completely blackout Yoga Day event? While President participated VP gave a miss,” Madhav tweeted on Sunday evening, when the government was celebrating the International Yoga Day event as a success.
However, in another tweet, Madhav said, “I am informed dat d VP was unwell. I withdrew my tweet. My apologies because d institution of VP deserves respect.”
Later, Madhav deleted both the tweets.
However, controversy sparked off after the vice-president’s office said that he was not unwell and, in fact, he was not invited for the yoga programme in the first place.