New Delhi: Vice President Hamid Ansari’s office has told NDTV he was not invited to the Yoga Day event in Delhi after his absence was questioned by former RSS leader and BJP general secretary Ram Madhav.
Mr Madhav had first tweeted, questioning Mr Ansari’s absence at the Yoga Day programme at Rajpath. Later, he deleted it and apologised, saying he later learnt that the Vice President was unwell.
The Vice President’s office said the report of Mr Ansari’s illness was not correct.
“Vice President was not sick. He was never invited for the yoga programme,” said Mr Ansari’s office in a statement to NDTV. “The Vice President only attends those programmes in which the minister concerned invites him as per protocol.”
Sources in Mr Ansari’s office said he was unhappy about the controversy. The Vice President would have gone if he had been invited, a source said.
Mr Madhav had also accused Rajya Sabha TV, the state-run broadcaster, of blacking out the live telecast of the Yoga Day event “completely” despite it being run on taxpayers’ money. As Rajya Sabha Chairman, Mr Ansari is the controlling authority for the channel.
This was contradicted by Gurdeep Singh Sappal, CEO of Rajya Sabha TV. “Baseless rumours. RSTV not just did live telecast of Rajpath event. But also had 3 documentaries, 1 special report today on Yoga,” he tweeted.
India created two world records today with the yoga performance at Rajpath, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Prime Minister, who was expected to only address the gathering, made a surprise appearance on Rajpath with a yoga mat.
Giant digital screens beamed the event live, security arrangements rivalled the Republic Day celebrations.