Why different rules for ‘ostensible God’: Manish Tewari on Sri Sri

New Delhi: Taking a jibe at Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living World Culture Festival and the temporary structure on the Yamuna flood plain, Congress leader Manish Tewari on Wednesday said just because some gentleman ostensibly considers himself to be ‘God’ doesn’t mean that different kind of rules should be applied to him.

“Just because somebody is perceived to be close to the Bharatiya Janata Party, just because somebody ostensibly helped the BJP during the 2014 elections and just because some gentleman considers himself to be ostensibly God. This doesn’t mean that a different kind of rules should be applied to him,” Congress leader Manish Tewari told ANI here.

Tewari added that if there have been a violation of extend laws, rules or procedures then this extravaganza needs to be stopped forthwith.

The National Green Tribunal will continue to hear today the plea seeking to stop construction of temporary structure on the flood plains of Yamuna for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living World Culture Festival in Delhi.

A bench headed by NGT chairperson Swantanter Kumar yesterday asked Ministry of Environment and Forest to file an affidavit today and tell why no environmental clearance is needed for raising temporary structures.

The direction came after counsel appearing for the Ministry said that they have found no debris at the site, when an expert team had visited. Counsel added that as per Environment Impact Assessment notification 2006, no environment clearance is needed for temporary structures.

In yesterday’s hearing the Green Panel also questioned the building up of pontoon bridge by the Army on river Yamuna for the festival.

The World Culture Festival organised by Art of Living is scheduled to be held from March 11 to 13 on the banks of the Yamuna.

Earlier, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar defended the event, saying not a single tree has been cut and the ecological stability has been maintained during the preparations.

“We are asserting that we will turn the place into a beautiful bio diversity park once we are finished with it. Since 2010, our volunteers have been working hard to clean the river and around 512 tonnes of dirt and garbage has been fished out. We want to save the Yamuna. We have not cut a single tree and have maintained ecological stability. We want to see Yamuna transformed into a beauty again,” Ravi Shankar told the media here.

Sri Sri’s Art of Living foundation says the event will feature yoga and meditation sessions, peace prayers and traditional cultural performances from around the world.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate event on Friday. (ANI)