Vice-President Hamid Ansari
Vice-President Hamid Ansari was critised by BJP leader Ram Madhav for not attending the International Yoga Day event on 21 June in Delhi.Reuters File

The Union government on Monday apologised for the unwarranted outburst of BJP leader Ram Madhav, who criticised Vice-President Hamid Ansari on missing out on the International Yoga Day event in New Delhi on Sunday, without realising that the latter was only following the protocol.

On International Yoga Day, the RSS ideologue-turned-BJP national general secretary, through a series of tweets, criticised Ansari for giving the Yoga Day event at the Rajpath a miss. Ansari, who is one of the India's longest serving Vice Presidents, as per government protocol was not invited to attend the event on 21 June.

On Monday, as the row escalated with the Congress accusing the ruling party of playing "divisive politics", the government was quick to issue an apology.

A PTI report stated that as per protocol the Vice-President is not invited for an event where the prime minister is the chief guest.

"Unknowingly something happens, we apologise for that. It should have been avoided. It's a mistake, he (Madhav) agrees, he apologised. He withdrew his statement," PTI reported quoting Union Minister Shripad Naik.

"When the prime minister is chief guest, then inviting the vice-president is not proper. That is protocol. That's why we did not send the invite to him. President and vice-president are above the prime minister as per order of precedence and we cannot invite them accordingly," he added.

Madhav had deleted the tweets, but not before it could lead to the controversy making it to the headlines. The vice president's office also issued a statement, in which it said that Ansari had not been invited as per protocol. 

Twitter Reactions 

Vinod Mehta @DrunkVinodMehta

Idiots like Ram Madhav are a shame in the name of human being. And what else to say about his mentor narendra modi!

K. C. Singh ✔@ambkcsingh

#IStandWithHamidAnsari What worsens error is that it isn't a loose cannon from BJP's Rt flank but Ram Madhav, prima donna linking BJP/RSS.

Shekhar Gupta ✔@ShekharGupta

Just a short, polite note of apology from Ram Madhav & BJP Pres to VP Hamid Ansari will cut the losses. This needs more than a mere delete

APSC @ambedkarperiyar

Ram Madhav should try not to practice bigotry. #RamMadhavIsAnIdiot ...

Sanjay Jha ‏@JhaSanjay

Ram Madhav deleted his tweets. That's called a digital apology.

Saikat Datta ‏@saikatd 

With his facts wrong, BJP leader Ram Madhav wants the controversy to end soon.

vir sanghvi ‏@virsanghvi

@MalikAshok sometimes people are so blinded by prejudice that they lose sight of their own interests. So yes, Ram Madhav should get that!