Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh
Jabalpur: It was a routine question pertaining to Narendra Modi that a journalist asked Jagatguru Shankaracharya Swami Sri Swaroopanand Saraswati Ji Maharaj. A slap on the face is the last thing he would have expected. But that is exactly that he got.
In a bizarre incident, the Shankaracharya slapped a reporter on Thursday just because he asked him as to what he thought about Modi as the next PM of India. He also snubbed the reporter saying that he was asking a useless question.
“I do not want to talk about politics,” Swami Swaroopanand told the reporter. He was here to attend a religious function.
The whole incident was caught on the camera. Later, reacting to the episode, Swaroopanand Saraswati clarified that he had slapped the journalist as he kept on asking about Modi. He also said that there was an attempt to keep Modi in news by certain quarters by all a means, whether positive or negative.
It has been said that the decision to project a PM candidate by the BJP has not gone down well with the swami. He has commented in the past that the prime minister should be elected by MPs.
The Shankaracharya of Dwarka is reportedly close to the Congress and has made adverse comments regarding the Gujarat CM in the past.
Meanwhile, as per reports, state Congress leader Mayan Aggarwal was quoted as saying that religious leaders should not be asked political questions. He also defended the the swami saying that he had slapped the reporter lovingly and that the media had blown the matter out of proportion."
However, the state unit of BJP Hitesh Bajpai was reported as saying that religious leaders should be an example of forgiveness and questions from media should not be brushed aside.
Swami Swaroopananda inherited the title of Shankaracharya of Dwarka in 1982.
Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, was declared BJP`s prime ministerial candidate for 2014 General Elections in September last year. The announcement was made in the national capital by the party president, Rajnath Singh.