Vadodara, Mar 6: Swami Nithyananda's sexcapades has left many of his high-profile followers running for cover out of embarrassment and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is one among them.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader has shared the stage with the spiritual leader on various occasions and there have been many incidents when the Chief Minister has even showered the man with praises.
Modi also accepted a donation from Nithyananda's organisation for the state's Kanya Kelavani programme, a Times of India report points out.
The Swamiji has visited the state once in Sep 2009 and once recently in Jan 2010.
During a book release function organised by Nithyananda Dhyanpeetam on Sep 10, the Chief Minister hailed the swami for his commitment to the traditions of Adi Shankaracharya and the principles of advaita, the report said.
Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd chairman N V Patel, state parliamentary secretary Yogesh Patel and Vadodara MP as well as mayor Balkrishna Shukla were also present at the event.
Now, that the sex scandal involving a video showing the Swamiji in compromising position with Tamil actress Ranjitha has emerged sullying the man's image, these leaders are trying hard to distance themselves from Nityananda.
"We always respect saints. But, this does not mean that we endorse whatever they do. It would be wrong to affiliate us with them. Too much controversy is being raked up around the issue unnecessarily," NV Patel told the newspaper while Yogesh Patel out-rightly claimed that he did not even know Nithyananda or his organisation.