National

Govt. justifies action against Ramdev

New Delhi: 04/06/2011 ---- Union Ministers Kapil Sibal and Subodh Kant Sahay watching live telecast at the News Room of PIB, after they spoken with Baba Ramdev on phone, requested him to stop his Satyagrah against corruption on the first day, in New Delhi on Monday. June 04, 2011. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

New Delhi: 04/06/2011 ---- Union Ministers Kapil Sibal and Subodh Kant Sahay watching live telecast at the News Room of PIB, after they spoken with Baba Ramdev on phone, requested him to stop his Satyagrah against corruption on the first day, in New Delhi on Monday. June 04, 2011. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty   | Photo Credit: SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY

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Hours after 46-year-old Ramdev was bundled out to Dehradun after he was picked up by the police in a pre-dawn swoop, the government also firmly ruled out any further talks with the yoga guru on the demands raised by him.

“There is nothing left to discuss (with Ramdev). On what issue we will talk. Whatever talks had to happen have already happened,” Union Minister Subodhkant Sahay, involved in negotiations with the yoga guru, told reporters here.

Highly-placed government sources said the decision to remove Baba Ramdev from the agitation site was taken at 5 p.m. on Saturday when it became clear that he was not going to end his fast as promised by him.

Both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were fully in the loop and the decision to act against Baba Ramdev was with their consent, the sources said.

The decision was taken after all efforts to cajole the yoga guru failed and he refused to accept the “practical steps” advocated by the government on his demand for bringing back black money, the sources said.

With the number of people swelling by the hour at the protest site, the Government was also worried about the possibility of terrorists mingling in the large congregation and triggering an explosion.

Baba Ramdev was given a final chance at around 4 p.m. when the government sent a letter stating that actions are being taken by it on his demands against black money and corruption and wanted him to abide by his assurance of calling off the fast. The yoga guru first wanted an hour’s time, but at around 5 p.m. announced that his indefinite fast would continue.

At this stage, the Government felt that there was no use in continuing with the negotiations with Baba Ramdev as he was raising fresh demands and not abiding by his assurance given in writing by his close aide.

The Government was left with no other option but to take action, the sources said.

On a day of high drama, the BJP and other opposition parties attacked the Government which also fielded several senior ministers to slam Baba Ramdev.

Union Minister Kapil Sibal made it clear that the action had the full backing of the government and the party.

To a question on whether the action had the endorsement of the party, he said:“Absolutely 100 per cent. No such action takes place without 100 per cent unity in the government and the party.”

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who led the negotiations on behalf of the government, termed the developments as “unfortunate” and said had Baba Ramdev had stuck to his word, this would not have happened.

Rejecting BJP’s allegations that the action against Baba Ramdev was reminiscent of the Emergency, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said the Government had to act as the yoga guru did not see reason.

“He didn’t see reason and the government had to act,” he said adding, “It was not a crackdown, we had to do it to maintain law and order“.

Mr. Sibal said there were apprehensions about law and order situation in Delhi as the yoga guru had collected 50,000 people for “political aasan” (manoeuver) although he had sought permission for a yoga camp for a gathering of 5,000 only.

“It was not a yoga platform, but a political platform,” he said while questioning the presence of Sadhvi Ritambhara in his protest.



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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 7:57:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/govt-justifies-action-against-ramdev/article2079149.ece

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