Appeal to all parties to not ‘politicize’ event: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

New Delhi: Asserting that the World Culture Festival being organised by the Art of Living foundation on the Yamuna floodplains was an event to unite everyone, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar appealed to all parties to not politicize the mega function.

“I appeal to all parties to not politicize the #WCF2016. It is to unite all cultures, nations, religions & ideologies. Let’s come together!,” he said in a tweet.

Earlier, the Opposition raised the issue of the Indian Army’s involvement in the construction of pontoon bridges for the World Culture Festival, creating an uproar in the Rajya Sabha.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury hit out at the Centre asking why was the Army being roped in for a private event following which the Opposition MPs raised slogans of ‘Army ka galat istemaal mat karo, raksha karo’.

In response, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is committed towards protecting environment and added that it would be wrong to doubt his commitment towards nature.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said that he was concerned about the event as the Delhi Police had also raised security concerns.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, however, lashed back at the Opposition saying that if a matter is pending with Tribunal, ordinarily the chair doesn’t allow the issue to be raised in the House.

Speaking to the media after the House was adjourned, Yechury reiterated that the Army was being misused and added the entire matter is a violation on the Green Tribunal.

“How can the Indian Army be summoned to make arrangements for a private function? How are they violating the existing laws in this issue? How are they misusing the Army? The government owes an explanation for this,” he said.

Meanwhile, the National Green Tribunal continued the hearing on the plea seeking to stop construction of temporary structure for event where the Water Resource Ministry informed NGT that they did not given any permission for the event. (ANI)