Govt justifies crackdown, says Ramdev `face of RSS`

The government said the action against Ramdev and his supporters was justified.

New Delhi: Under fire for cracking down on Baba Ramdev, the government on Sunday accused the yoga guru of spreading disaffection and called him a "face" of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Soon after the forced dispersal of Ramdev and thousands of his supporters from the Ramlila ground after midnight Saturday, the government said that Baba Ramdev was given an assurance on his demands against corruption and black money.

"The government told him that anything doable will be done immediately. Anything not doable cannot be done. If despite all assurances, there is government bashing, only to rouse passions, only to spread disaffection among people, then people expect the government to take action," Pawan Kumar Bansal, the parliamentary affairs minister, said in Chandigarh.

The minister, who is also MP from Chandigarh, denied that it was a crackdown. "It is no crackdown. You (media) must accept that," Bansal said.

Bansal, who was one of the four ministers who met Ramdev at the airport here last week when he arrived for his protest, said the government tried its best to resolve the issue with the yoga guru.

"I happened to meet Baba Ramdev on the very first day. We were earning flak from the media and the public that the government shouldn`t have done that," Bansal said.

"The government held him in high respect, the government talked to him, the government tried to make him see reason. These were the initiatives the government took from time to time on these matters."

Bansal said: "The much larger question before the government was what are the mechanisms that people of the country must adopt for the resolution of disputes and issue. Are we going to make, by our action, the parliamentary system irrelevant?”

"If you have anything against a parliamentarian or the government, there are legitimate ways of doing it. Not in the garb of doing something, you should try to do something else," Bansal said.

In Delhi, a combative Sibal called Ramdev a face of the RSS. "Today it has become clear that he is another face of the RSS," he said.

Sibal said Ramdev had told the government he would only hold a yoga camp for about 5,000 people at the Ramlila Ground. "How did he collect 50,000 people?" the minister asked.

He said the government was confident of handling any situation following Ramdev`s externment from Delhi. "What we have done is right," Sibal told reporters.