New Delhi: Facing extreme criticism from several quarters over the ‘Ramlila Maidan’ crackdown, the Congress party on Monday hit back at yoga guru Baba Ramdev by saying that he was not a true satyagrahi as he had political motives.
Addressing a press conference in the national capital, Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said, “Ramdev is a not a true satyagrahi and none of his companions have anything to do with satyagrah and blackmoney.”
Coming down hard on the yoga guru, the Congress leader said, “A true satyagrahi is not worried about his life and does not run away in the face of adversity like Ramdev. A true satyagrahi does not run away in a women’s garb.”
Dwivedi also ridiculed Baba Ramdev’s comparison with great leader like Mahatama Gandhi or great spiritual soul like Swami Vivekanand.
“It is absolutely wrong to compare Baba Ramdev with any of these great souls. It is sad that the ‘Ramlila Maidan’ incident is being compared to the Jalianwalan Bagh massacre,” he stated.
The general secretary, while condemning Baba Ramdev’s method of fighting corruption, said that the yoga guru was only serving the agenda of right-wing associations like RSS and BJP.
“Ramdev is a businessman and not a saint because sages conduct themselves in a very dignified manner and not like the yoga guru, who is businessman and trying to arm-twist the government with a firm backing from the RSS and BJP,” the Congress leader said.
Slamming the main opposition BJP, the Congress leader said, “The main opposition party is just trying to draw a political mileage out of the current situation by pushing up the issue and stoking communal tension in the country.”
Dwivedi also appealed to the nation to not give too much importance to people like Ramdev and Anna Hazare, who were attempting to blackmail the Congress-led UPA government of Dr Manmohan Singh.
“Ramdev is a self-proclaimed sanyasi and following such a person is not part of anyone’s principal,” he said.
However, he warned that the government will not surrender to the pressure tactics of these people and was well prepared to handle them.
“The Congress government knows how to deal with such situations. The Congress party and the UPA government has always remained committed to fighting corruption and no one should doubt our intentions. We all know how blackmoney and corruption plague us,” he maintained.
Dwivedi, while replying to questions over allegations of corruption facing the Congress government said, “Investigations are on and truth will surface soon.”
He also showered praise on Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh by saying that no one has the locus standi to question his integrity and honesty, not even his biggest critics.
The development came hours after a delegation of BJP-led NDA met President Pratibha Patil to demand convening of a special session of Parliament to discuss the issue of black money and police action against Baba Ramdev and his supporters.
A delegation of NDA leaders led by BJP Parliamentary Party Chairman LK Advani met the President and handed over a memorandum demanding immediate convening of a special session of Parliament and passage of a resolution declaring the ill-gotten money stashed away abroad as national asset.
The memorandum said in the special session, the opposition wants to "compel" the government to explain its "brutal action against peaceful protesters and apologise for this attack on civil liberties and democratic rights".
It said the opposition also favoured the passage of a resolution declaring all Indian money stashed away in foreign banks as a national asset.
A similar demand was made by Baba Ramdev during his agitation here.
A Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said, "The President met the NDA delegation led by LK Advani. Advani requested the President to summon a special session of Parliament to explain the action taken against protesters or civil society activists and to discuss issues related to corruption and black money".