A picture of the yoga guru’s close aide Ved Pratap Vaidik with Hafiz Saeed was circulated on social media, stirring a raging controversy.
As soon as the upper house met, the uproar on the issue forced a 15-minute adjournment.
The Congress questioned if Vaidik was sent as an emissary, and why were the proper channels not followed.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said he was surprised Vaidik, who is also a senior journalist, claimed to be an emissary.
“It is most surprising Vaidik claims to be intermediary. Who sent him on the mission?” he questioned.
Congress leader Anand Sharma said: “It is not a small issue. He is not just a journalist. This person claims to be an emissary. Such meeting cannot take place without officials being informed.”
“The Ministry of External Affairs will have to give a statement,” he said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley clarified that Vaidik was not sent as a government representative.
“As far as government is concerned, Hafiz Saeed is a terrorist. Government of India has nothing to do with any journalist in his individual capacity meeting him,” said Jaitley.
Chairman M. Hamid Ansari tried to calm down the members, saying law will take its course if Vaidik has done anything illegal. However, opposition members refused to relent and created a din over the issue.
Amid the uproar, the upper house was adjourned till noon.
Vaidik has said he met Hafiz Saeed July 2 in Lahore and had an hour long chat with him. He has said that he met the 26/11 mastermind in his capacity as a journalist.