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Baba Ramdev lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement to bring India's Covid vaccination drive under the control of central government by June 21 and inoculate every citizen aged 18 years or above for free. The yoga guru even said that he will soon get himself vaccinated, a marked change from his earlier stance on the matter, and urged others to take the jab too.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a historic announcement of vaccinating every citizen free of cost from June 21. Everybody should get vaccinated. Also, people should practice yoga and Ayurveda which will prepare a protective shield against disease and will also prevent COVID casualties. I will also get vaccinated soon," Ramdev said.

At the end of last month, Ramdev had said that he does not need to get vaccinated against Covid as he is protected by yoga and Ayurveda. In his recent remarks, he had questioned the efficacy of Covid vaccines.

Ramdev maintained that certain circles in pharmaceutical business have been harassing the public with exorbitant prices. "We cannot be at enmity with any organisation. And all the good doctors are all messengers sent by God on this earth. They are a gift to this planet. But if a person being a doctor does anything wrong then that is the fault of that individual. Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadh stores had to be opened because drug mafias have opened fancy shops where they are selling unnecessary medicines at very high prices instead of basic and necessary ones."

"Our fight is not with the doctors of the country, the doctors who are opposing us, they are not doing it through an institution," he added.

Commenting on the controversy over his comparison between allopathy and Ayurveda, the yoga guru stated that there was no doubt that allopathy is better in terms of emergency cases and surgeries but Ayurveda treats incurable diseases.

"We want that nobody should be harassed in the name of medicines and people should refrain from unnecessary medication. There is no doubt that allopathy is better for emergency cases and surgeries. But other life-threatening diseases, incurable disorders can be cured through ancient practices listed in Yoga Ayurveda, which is not a matter of argument," said Ramdev.

Ramdev has been in the eye of a storm over his remarks demeaning allopathic medicine and doctors with respect to the Covid-19 crisis. Several doctors have even demanded authorities to hold the yoga guru accountable for his statements.

The chain of events began with a video that showed Ramdev calling modern allopathy "a stupid and failed science". He had retracted his statements following a letter by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who had called the remarks "inappropriate".

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Wednesday wrote to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), alleging yoga guru Ramdev of making "unprovoked demeaning and prejudicing utterances against modern medicine".

Last week, the IMA had sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention to book Ramdev for sedition and other charges for allegedly "spearheading a misinformation campaign on COVID vaccination". The medical body had also sent a legal notice to him over his alleged statements against allopathy and "defaming" scientific medicine.

However, the Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust has denied allegations by the IMA that Ramdev has misled people by making "unlearned" statements against allopathy and defamed scientific medicine. According to the Haridwar-based Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust statement, Ramdev was reading out a WhatsApp forwarded message in the video that has gone viral on social media.

(With agency inputs)

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