New Delhi, Jun 4: Sadhvi Rithambhara, a firebrand Hindutva saint during the 90's Ram Temple agitation, who had been confining herself to religious discourses these days, said at Ramlila Maidan on Saturday that had there been more Vallabh Bhais in India, a sanyasi would not have sat on fast.
During her address, Ritambara lavished praise on the yoga guru.
With no 'Bharat Mata' poster on stage and frequent musings about his protest's non-political character, Baba Ramdev is trying hard to dispel notions that his agitation is a Sangh Parivar-sponsored one.
However, the presence of people like Sadhvi Ritambara and a host of sadhus raised eye-brows at the Ramlila protest site though the dais also saw the participation of some clerics from Muslim, Jain and Sikh communities.
During his speeches throughout the day, Ramdev at regular intervals reminded his followers and media that his protest has no political colour and his only intention was to fight against corruption.
Doubts were raised in certain sections about RSS involvement in the protest after its spokesperson Ram Madhav said, "the Sangh has asked swayamsevaks to participate in fight against corruption in Delhi and in the districts."
"Our agitation is not against any political party or individual. We are neutral. It is not being sponsored by any party or organisation and people from all castes and religion are joining us. We appeal to all parties to join us," Ramdev said.
Ramdev also sought to project his secular credentials by getting clerics from Islam, Jain and Sikh communities to share stage with him and delivering speeches promising support to them.
Speaker after speaker eulogised Ramdev and many went to the extent of equating him with Mahatma Gandhi.
Interestingly, the backdrop of the dais did not have any mention of the protest and just an announcement of the yoga sessions.
The 'Bharat Mata' depicted as Durga and resembling the one used by RSS at the protest in April led by Anna Hazare had led to criticism that he was using over Hindu symbols.
Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh has alleged that Ramdev's protest is "totally engineered by RSS and VHP to divert people's attention from Sanghi terror". VHP has announced that its president Giriraj Kishore will share dais with Ramdev at Ramlila Maidan.
Interestingly, Anna Hazare-led activists sought to downplay the presence of Ritambara, saying they do not want to be judgemental about her presence though yesterday they said that the yoga guru has promised them that no communal forces will be allowed and they will boycott it if he do so.
Santosh Hegde said, "So far as the presence of Sadhvi Ritambhara is concerned she may be an accused in Ayodhya case. We are not supporting that cause. We are supporting only fight against corruption. If she wants to fight against corruption. I do not see why she should not be allowed to do that." PTI