"Next PM? Can't Tell": From One-Time Supporter Ramdev, Snub For PM Modi

Ramdev's comments appear to be a huge rebuff to PM Modi. He has been closely associated with the BJP, besides supporting its national election campaign in 2014.

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Ramdev had supported the BJP's national election campaign in 2014.


Madurai, Tamil Nadu: 

Highlights

  1. Ramdev's comments come weeks after assembly elections in five states
  2. "Now the political situation is very difficult," he said
  3. Ramdev said he won't support any person or oppose any party

With months to go for the 2019 general elections, yoga teacher Ramdev, once a staunch supporter of the ruling BJP, has delivered what appears to be a huge rebuff to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It would be difficult to say who will be the next prime minister, he told news agency ANI on Tuesday.

"Now the political situation is very difficult. We cannot say who will [be] the next prime minister or who will lead the country, but situation is very interesting..." Ramdev said in Tamil Nadu's Madurai.

The comments come two weeks after assembly elections in five states, in which the Congress managed to win three heartland states from the BJP - Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. While K Chandrashekar Rao's Telangana Rashtra Samithi retained Telangana, the Congress lost Mizoram to the Mizo National Front.

Ramdev, whose support was considered crucial for the BJP in the previous national election, said he would not support any person or oppose any party in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections due by May.

"I am not focusing on politics," he said.

"We don't have a political or religious agenda but we want a spiritual country and a spiritual world. Through yoga and Vedic practices, we are making a divine, prosperous and spiritual India," said Ramdev.

Ramdev, 52, has been closely associated with the BJP, besides supporting its national election campaign in 2014. A year later, he was named BJP-ruled Haryana's brand ambassador and then granted cabinet minister rank. He was allotted a car with a beacon, security personnel and an escort vehicle whenever he visited the state.

This is not the first time Ramdev has said he is distancing himself from politics. In September, when asked on NDTV Yuva, a special youth conclave, if he would campaign for the BJP, Ramdev had shot back, "why would I".

Admitting that he has lately distanced himself from politics, Ramdev had then said, "I have withdrawn myself politically. I am with all parties and I am with no party."

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