Govt justifies action against Ramdev

Kapil Sibal said the police action had the backing of govt and the party.

New Delhi: A tough-talking Government on Sunday justified Baba Ramdev`s eviction from Ramlila grounds in the
wee hours, accusing him of going back on his word to end the
fast and pursuing his "political agenda".

Hours after 46-year-old Ramdev was bundled out to
Dehradun after he was picked up by the police in a pre-dawn
swoop, 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 Ramdev from the agitation site was taken at 5 PM 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 Ramdev was with their consent, the sources

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 blackmoney, the sources said.

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

Ramdev was given a final chance at around 4 PM 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 PM announced that his indefinite fast would continue.

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

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

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

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 government, termed the developments
as "unfortunate" and said had Ramdev had stuck to his word,
this would not have happened.

Rejecting BJP`s allegations that the action against
Ramdev was reminiscent of the Emergency, Parliamentary Affairs
Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal today 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".

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

"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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