The Newshour Debate: Congress getting jittery? - 1

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Congress approached the Election Commission seeking monitoring of all activities and movements of organisations and persons like RSS, Baba Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, claiming they "have been conducting political activities without being registered as a political party". "In the present Lok Sabha elections, persons/organisations other than BJP, namely the RSS, Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar have been conducting political activities without being registered as a political party," secretary of All India Congress Committee's Legal Department K C Mittal complained to the EC. He said activities of all such persons/organisations/ associations/groups should be monitored, video-graphed and checked in each of the constituency. Mittal said in the case of yoga guru Baba Ramdev, the Delhi Election Commission appears to have already issued a notice for using yoga camp for political activity without permission of the authorities. The final outcome of the same is not known, he added. "However, his primary activities are only to conduct yoga camp, and manufacture and sale ayurveda medicines.

Similarly, RSS claims to be a social and cultural organisation whereas Sri Sri Ravi Shankar runs centres for 'art of living'." Mittal alleged that "huge expenditure" is being incurred by these organisations on such campaigning for BJP nominees unauthorisedly. "The campaign is being carried out without complying with the instructions of the Commission and other requirements of law. Unfortunately, all of them are indulging in political activities without following the norms laid down by the Election Commission," he claimed. "In order to prima facie show the nature of their political activities, the attention of the Hon'ble Commission is drawn to a camp held by Ramdev at Ramlila Maidan on March 23, his latest camp for Manoj Tiwari, a BJP candidate", he said. At Ramlila Maidan, Acharya Govind Dev Giri, who had come from Varanasi, recited verses from the Bhagwat Geeta and talked about holy cow and Hindutva in the presence of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and sought votes for him, Mittal said.

In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists -- Amee Yagnik, Spokesperson, Congress; Dr Subramanian Swamy, Chairman, BJP Strategic Action Committee (for Lok Sabha polls 2014); Pavan Verma, Cultural Advisor to CM, Bihar; Rahul Easwar, Social Activist; Dr Ved Pratap Vaidik, Associate of Baba Ramdev and Prasana Prabhu, Spokesperson, The Art Of Living -- discuss whether, by seeking to put Ramdev and Sri Sri under scanner is Congress reflecting its nervousness?

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