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Cong plays down Pawar-Ramdev meeting

Congress, which once dubbed Ramdev as a "thug", on Wednesday saw nothing wrong in the yoga guru meeting NCP leader Sharad Pawar on black money.



New Delhi: Congress, which once dubbed Ramdev as a "thug", on Wednesday saw nothing wrong in the yoga guru meeting NCP leader Sharad Pawar on black money issue and said Sonia Gandhi will "definitely consider" giving an appointment to him, if it was sought.

Party spokesperson Rashid Alvi also did not find any problem with Pawar`s remarks that the yoga guru`s suggestions to tackle the menace were "pragmatic".

Alvi`s formulations today were much different from the party`s view sometime back when the Delhi police had conducted a midnight swoop on the followers of Ramdev at Ramlila Maidan last year during their anti-graft agitation.

At that time, party general secretary Digvijay Singh had dismissed Ramdev as a "thug" and party spokespersons had also ridiculed the "flight" of Ramdev from the ground in women wear.

Softpedalling Ramdev`s meetings with political leaders on black money, Alvi said that all those willing to fight for the issue should strengthen the hands of Congress and the UPA government as "nobody fought the black money menace as our government did."

"Everybody supports the fight against blackmoney. If anybody talks against blackmoney, everybody will spontaneously support it," Alvi said when asked to comment on Pawar`s remarks that Ramdev`s suggestions to tackle the menace were "pragmatic".

Asked whether Gandhi will meet Ramdev, he said, "If he has made any such request, Gandhi will definitely consider it."

To a specific question on whether Congress is ready to "befriend" Ramdev if he makes a move in this direction, the Congress spokesperson said "this is not a question of friendship".

Pawar, who holds the Agriculture portfolio, had said he did not "smell politics" in Ramdev`s campaign.

PTI

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