Soni defends PC in Ramlila Maidan crackdown

Union minister Ambika Soni defended her cabinet colleague P Chidambaram in the last year`s midnight crackdown at Ramlila Maidan.

New Delhi: Union minister Ambika Soni on Friday
defended her cabinet colleague P Chidambaram in the last
year`s midnight crackdown at Ramlila Maidan, saying that the
Supreme Court had only held Delhi Police and yoga guru
Ramdev`s organisation responsible for the incident.

"Why should the Home Minister (Chidambaram) be considered
responsible when the Supreme Court has named two entities,
which were held responsible for the happenings," Soni said
when asked by reporters here.

"The entities named were Delhi Police and Swami Ramdev`s
organisation, so where does the question of the Home Minister
being responsible come up," she added.

Responding to another question, Soni said the Election
Commission had the right to decide what action it should take
on complaints of model code of conduct violation.

"It is the Election Commission`s right to decide what
steps they want to take. I know a notice was sent to (Congress
leaders) Salman Khurshid and Beni Prasad and both had
presented their side of story to the Election Commission. They
said they had no intent of violating the code of conduct.

"What decision the Election Commissioners has taken is
acceptable, I cannot comment on their decision," the
Information and Broadcasting minister said.

When asked to comment on Anna Hazare`s proposed
anti-corruption crusade, she said, "One is free to take up
causes to which one is committed. It does not only apply to a
person like Anna Hazare ji but to every Indian citizen. The
constitution gives us the right to have our own convictions
and commitments and to fight for them."

Responding to a question on Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh`s statement regarding foreign hand in the Koodankulam
protests, Soni said that the PM must have spoken about it on
some sound basis.

"Whatever the Prime Minister has said, he obviously said
it on the basis of inputs which he has received. I, as an
individual minister, am not privy to those inputs. The Prime
Minister when he says something, you can be rest assured, is
based on solid inputs he has," she said.

"Dr Manmohan Singh is not given in to making frivolous
comments. So when he says something, please take it
seriously," she added.