Don't Use a Fakir to Malign PM Narendra Modi, Says Baba Ramdev

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Yoga guru Baba Ramdev


New Delhi:  Baba Ramdev launched a staunch defence today of one of his herbal drugs, whose name suggests that it can help conceive sons. The yoga guru, who has millions of followers through his TV show, said the drug helps with infertility and not sex selection.

"It has got nothing to do with sex selection... But if the name is misleading, we will include a disclaimer from the next batch onwards," the saffron-robed guru said at a news conference, adding though that he will not change the name.

The drug, called "Divya Putrajeevak Beej" which translates as "Divine Son-Bearing Seed", sparked uproar in parliament on Thursday with the opposition demanding that it be pulled from the shelves of the pharmacies that Baba Ramdev runs.

"It's a conspiracy to defame me. People who are raising such questions have no knowledge about nomenclatures and Ayurveda," Baba Ramdev said today.

"Through me, a fakir, they are trying to malign Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he also said.  

Opposition lawmaker KC Tyagi, who raised the matter in Parliament, had pointed out that Baba Ramdev is the brand ambassador of BJP-ruled Haryana. PM Modi had recently launched his 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' (Save the girl child, educate her) campaign, which aims at reversing the skewed gender ratio in the country, from Haryana.

The row is potentially embarrassing for the ruling BJP as Baba Ramdev campaigned extensively for it in last year's general election. The yoga guru is not only Haryana's brand ambassador, he just declined the state's offer of a cabinet minister's status. He was also reportedly considered for the prestigious Padma Vibhushan award by the Centre this year.

Pre-natal sex determination tests are illegal in the country but rules are often flouted to abort female foetuses.

Baba Ramdev, who reportedly has a trust worth around $250 million (nearly Rs 1600 crore), a Scottish island and a global herbal medicine business worth billions, had courted controversy two years ago when he offered to "cure" homosexuals at his ashram.


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