No Ramdev's yoga shivir till polls: EC

No Ramdev's yoga shivir till polls: EC

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev may find it difficult to hold yoga shivir till the Lok Sabha polls are over, as the Election Commission (EC) on Friday asked the chief electoral officers (CEO) of all states and Union territories to deny permission for such events if the organisers had in the past misused those for poll campaigning.

“If there is a possibility of such misuse or such permission has been misused by either the organiser or participants on earlier occasions, the permission (to hold a Yoga Shivir or such non-political events) should not be given,” the EC wrote in a communique to the CEOs.

Ramdev, who has since long been voicing support for the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, held a Yoga Shivir at Nawanshahr in Punjab on April 2 and allegedly used the occasion to tacitly campaign for BJP’s ally, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

He took out a road-show along with SAD’s candidate for Anandpur Sahib Prem Singh Chandumajra in an open jeep. He also indirectly criticised the Congress and said that Modi as prime minister was necessary for the country.

This prompted the district electoral officer of Nawanshahr to recommend that expenditure of Baba Ramdev's event should be booked to the accounts of the SAD as poll expenses.

Ramdev was also issued a show-cause notice by the CEO of Delhi after holding a similar camp in the national capital because Modi had attended the event.

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