Parliament, particularly the Rajya Sabha, was in a state of pandemonium on Monday morning, with members cutting across party lines to register their strong protests over Baba Ramdev's close aide Ved Pratap Vaidik meeting 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Lahore recently.
While Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati termed it a serious matter and demanded a probe into it, Congress leader and former Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma was quite vitriolic in his criticism of the meeting and the government's less than serious response to it.
He termed Vaidik's meeting with Hafiz Saeed has probably having national security repurcussions, and charged the NDA Government with possibly facilitating the meeting between Vaidik and Saeed.
He said that Vaidik was not only a journalist, but a prominent member of several key organisations in India, and said that it was not enough for the NDA Government or the BJP to just acknowledge that Hafiz Saeed was a terrorist.
Congress leaders Ambika Soni and Ghulam Nabi Azad also demanded proper explanations as to how could Vaidik could proceed to Lahore to meet Saeed without appropriate government sanction.
Baba Ramdev maintained that Vaidik was a patriotic Indian and could not be labelled as guilty. The BJP said that Vaidik should explain as to why he met the 26/11 mastermind.
Vaidik said Sunday that he had released a photograph of his meeting with Saeed , and added that the interaction had taken place in his personal capacity.
"Yes this photograph was released by me. I have my photo with Nawaz Shareef and other politicians too. I was there for 20 days and met several people there," said Vaidik.
He said that he met Saeed on July 2 in Lahore and had an hour long chat with him.
"Hafeez Saeed asked me about Narendra Modi. He said Modi is dangerous and now he has become the Prime Minister of India. He said that Modi is dangerous for the whole of South Asia. I said that his thinking is not right. There is no need to fear Modi," he added.
"Many South Asia ministers and media know me well. Everybody knows that only by dialogue we can sort out our issues. Violence and terror is not a solution. It is only through dialogue that we can resolve our issues," said Vaidik.
He said that he met Saeed as a journalist, and added, "He had seen my interviews and read my write ups." (ANI)