New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram
Wednesday charged the RSS with being behind Baba Ramdev`s
anti-corruption campaign, saying the Sangh fountainhead had
decided to support anyone raising the corruption issue.
"I think you should know who is behind Baba Ramdev. Go
back to March 2011. At a meeting at Puthur in Karnataka, the
Akhil Bhatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, which is the apex body of the
RSS, decided to support all organisations and individuals that
will raise the fight against corruption," he said in an
interview to Doordarshan.
The Home Minister said on April two, the RSS had
announced the formation of an anti-corruption front in which
Baba Ramdev is the patron.
Chidambaram said a section of media was engaged in
"competitive populist coverage" of the protests movement of
Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev and others and maintained that it
undermined parliamentary democracy.
"I think sections of the media, for reasons which I
can`t spell out, are engaged in competitive populist coverage
of these movements. This undermines parliamentary democracy,"
The Home Minister said he supported the civil society
speaking against corruption by raising their voice.
"But I don`t support elected representatives yielding
their obligations and responsibilities to civil society
representatives. Let us remember that the foundation of this
country is parliamentary democracy," he said.
Chidambaram criticised the civil society members for
challenging Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to a television
debate on corruption.
"When someone challenges Finance Minister to a debate in
television, he misses the fact that debate takes place in
Parliament and Parliamentary debates are televised and voters
watch Parliamentary debates and exercise their franchise from
time-to-time," he said.
The Home Minister said the Central government was
committed to drafting the Lokpal Bill by June 30.
"We are clearly committed to the goal that a bill will
be drafted by June 30. I sincerely hope that the other five
members of the Committee will return to the drafting
committee`s meeting," he said.
Chidambaram said the next meeting of the joint drafting
committee has been deferred because social activist Anna
Hazare is not available on that day.
"We have deferred (the meeting) by a few days," he
The Home Minister dismissed the suggestion that there
was difference between the government and Congress party in
dealing with Ramdev`s anti-corruption campaign.
"We don`t have an Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj dual act
in our party and government. Nor do we have the kind of
dualism that was exposed between Mr Jaswant Singh and Mr L K
Advani post Kandahar. We speak in one voice. We have a
division of responsibility but we speak in one voice and act
together," he said.
Chidambaram expressed his sadness over the condition
of Rajbala, who was seriously injured during the crackdown on
the anti-corruption protesters at Ramlila grounds and said the
government has reached out to the family.
Chidambaram said during the police action at Ramlila
ground, 39 civilians were injured and all but four were
discharged with outpatient treatment.
He said two injured civilians were later discharged while
one was undergoing treatment and he was doing fine now.
"It is only Rajbala which had suffered serious injury and
she is critical. I am very sad. We have reached out to the
family. I wish to say no more in this stage but I sincerely
hope that I will have the opportunity to meet the family
members," he said.