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Sonia distances herself from Ramdev swoop

Jun 07, 2011 08:15 AM IST Politics Politics
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New Delhi: Who authorised the midnight swoop on Baba Ramdev? Sonia Gandhi sought to distance herself from the midnight operation against Baba Ramdev. Sources say she was upset with the government decision. But, is it possible she was not in the know?

Sources say that at a 3-hour meeting at 10 Janpath on Sunday, Sonia questioned the need for the midnight operation.

The meeting was attended by party leaders and senior ministers Pranab Mukherjee, P Chidambaram, AK Antony and Kapil Sibal.

Sources said Sonia Gandhi asked the ministers why was Ramdev allowed to hold the Satyagraha at Ramlila Maidan in the first place when the written permission was not there and why didn't the Government then wait for at least a day before removing Ramdev.

At the Core Committee meeting, Sonia also strongly disapproved of the decision of four ministers and the cabinet secretary going to the airport to talk to Ramdev.

"There are some decisions which party takes and some which government does," said Dwivedi.

As the Congress launched a defence at the party headquarters, the day took a dramatic turn - when a former teacher and journalist Sunil Kumar brandished a shoe at spokesperson Janardan Dwiwedi. The Congress party was quick to pass the blame for this incident to the RSS.

"This is the real if fascism, this is the real face of RSS, this is the real face of the BJP. This is the kind of training they give to their members. But I thank the media personnel present there who should their anger on this incident," said Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh.

Sunil Kumar is still in police custody and party sources say they want to know the truth. But the Opposition has already accused the party of cooking up the day's drama to distract from the midnight swoop on Baba Ramdev.

But, there are serious doubts over the fact that Sonia Gandhi was kept in dark.
The big questions remain: Who took the decision to send ministers to the airport?

If Sonia insisted on tough talk, then how come party was not in the know?

Whose decision was it to go in for midnight swoop?

"Please ask the Government about the operation, it was their decision," said senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh.

"The administration had to resort to force as a Yoga camp was converted to a protest site. The party is not involved in this," he added.

However, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said that there are no cracks in the Congress on Ramdev and the party is united.

"No differences in the party and the Government. Everybody was united on the issue. In such things of course the party and the Government work in coordination," said Sibal.

Meanwhile, Baba Ramdev has held Sonia Gandhi responsible for the crackdown and hit back at her by raising her foreign origin issue.

"Earlier I didn't use to pay attention to the fact that Sonia Gandhi wasn't born in this country. But, last night's incident shows that she does not have any place for the women and children of this nation," said Baba Ramdev.