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RSS backing Ramdev: Chidambaram
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 8
Home Minister P Chidambaram today conveyed a stern message to yoga guru Ramdev, virtually drawing a ‘Laxman Rekha’ on his proposed actions while ‘exposing’ his links with the radical right-wing outfit, the Rashtriya Swayam Sevaksangh (RSS).

The Home Minister, who has a no-nonsense image, responded to Ramdev’s alarming call to form an ‘armed force’ saying “by making that statement, he has exposed his true colours and true intentions. Let him do so and the law will deal with that”.

Joining in to condemn Ramdev, V Narayanswamy, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, said: “It is anti-national and we have to take action”.

The Congress joined the chorus and questioned not just Ramdev’s announcement of formation of an armed force, it also asked the BJP to explain if it supported the formation of the 11,000-strong force proposed by the yoga guru.

Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said Ramdev’s statement was unconstitutional and questioned Sushma Swaraj for her presence at Haridwar at the time Ramdev made his announcement and asked her to explain whether they (BJP) were supporting the plan.

Even Anna Hazare’s team disassociated itself from this plan. We do not support this (Ramdev’s announcement of forming an armed wing). All protests have to be non-violent,” Arvind Kejriwal told reporters here.

In what could define the support, or the lack of it, to Ramdev in the future, the Home Minister gave a written backgrounder on the yoga guru’s links with the RSS saying, the government had taken note of the resolution passed by the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, a front organisation of the RSS, in March this year at Puttur, Karnataka.

The RSS announced the formation of an “anti-corruption front” with Ramdev as its patron and KN Govindacharya as its convenor. On May 12 the ABVP floated an organisation - “Youth Against Corruption” - to coordinate with Ramdev. On May 20, Suresh Joshi of the RSS issued a circular to all swayamsevaks to render all possible cooperation to Ramdev’s campaign. Similar instructions were issued on May 28 by Ashok Singhal of VHP.

“This is not an agitation by a yoga guru. This is a political agitation fully backed by the RSS. We will allow peaceful protests but we will not allow anything that will trigger a conflagration,” Chidambaram had told national broadcaster Doordarshan in an interview this afternoon.

He went on to dismiss suggestions that there were differences between the government and the Congress in dealing with Ramdev’s anti-corruption campaign. “We don’t have an Arun Jaitley-Sushma Swaraj dual act in our party and the government,” he said.





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