Sonia confers with senior party leaders on Ramdev issue

Cong Prez Sonia Gandhi held consultations with party leaders to formulate a strategy.

New Delhi: With the midnight crackdown on
Baba Ramdev`s hunger strike coming under attack from the
opposition and civil society, Congress President Sonia Gandhi
on Sunday evening held consultations with senior party leaders to
formulate a strategy.

Gandhi`s deliberations with senior ministers and leaders
came close on the heels of several opposition parties,
including BJP, condemning the police action to break the fast
at the Ramlila Maidan.

The entire opposition slammed the police action
as a "shameful" chapter in India`s democracy with BJP accusing
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Gandhi of ordering the
crackdown.

BJP announced it would hold protests across the country
against corruption and "police brutality" against Ramdev and
his followers.

Union Minister Kapil Sibal, who had held negotiations with
the Baba, was present at the deliberations. Earlier in the
day, Sibal had a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as
also Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Besides Mukherjee, the leaders present at the meeting
were Home Minister P Chidambaram and Defence Minister AK
Antony.

Ahmed Patel, Political secretary to the Congress chief as
also party leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mukul Wasnik, Birender
Singh and Jagdish Tytler were present at the meeting.

A senior leader, who declined to be identified, said the
party was not told about the police action like it was not
aware of the four ministers, led by Mukherjee, driving down to
airport on June 1 to meet Ramdev, a move which had come for
flak from several party leaders.

PTI

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