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Decoding Baba Ramdev’s Retreat
|by Dr. Rajinder Puri|
Baba Ramdev has publicly forgiven the government for its crackdown at Ramila Maidan because Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described the event as “unfortunate”. Ramdev has not exonerated the police action which he claims will be condemned by history. However the PM is forgiven. The Baba is ready to resume negotiations with the government. To what might be attributed this extraordinary act of magnanimity?
Two possibilities suggest themselves. The first and obvious possibility is that the heat generated by official probes into the Baba’s wealth is having its effect. The government’s long experience of using official agencies to blackmail and browbeat opponents into submission is by now legendary. However there might well also be another possibility.
As had been repeatedly pointed out in these columns there are clear signs of divisions within the Congress as well as the opposition. The cross party alignments contending with one another are causing much confusion. Circumstantial evidence indicates that broadly speaking Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, the Advani setup within BJP and Anna Hazare’s group were ranged on one side. On the other side were Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, RSS and Baba Ramdev. Might not this alignment explain the mixed signals that emanated from the government in addressing the Ramlila Maidan rally?
Not only did Congress general secretaries Mr. Digvijay Singh and Mr. Abhishekh Singhvi issue statements to grievously damage the parleys between Baba Ramdev and the government. The pressure on Mr. Kapil Sibal, apparently a PM loyalist, by the Baba’s waywardness led him in desperation to release the secret letter by Ramdev’s aide in order to justify himself. If the PM has to bend before 10 Janpath, surely his loyalists must have to crawl! The draconian midnight police action at Ramlila Maidan without giving any time to the peacefully sleeping protestors to respond to the revocation notice issued might also be explained by inner party conflict of the Congress.
The Home Ministry falls under Mr. P. Chidambaram. Mr. Chidambaram, who in his own words has merely to close his eyes when Mr. Rahul Gandhi speaks to conjure the vision of the late Rajiv Gandhi, is a fierce 10 Janpath loyalist. He appears to be in fact Mr. Digvijay Singh’s most serious rival in the sycophancy stakes of the Congress Party. Mr. Chidambaram’s tension with the PM became apparent during the 2G Spectrum scam. Readers might recall that on February 19, 2011, I wrote: “During his recent press conference the PM said that the Finance Minister was informed and had cleared the decisions related to the 2G Spectrum licenses taken by the former Telecom Minister Mr. A Raja. Home Minister Chidambaram was the Finance Minister when those decisions were taken. He had denied having approved Mr. Raja’s mode of issuing licenses for the spectrum deal. So who is speaking the truth, Dr Manmohan Singh or Mr. Chidambaram?”
Baba Ramdev’s desire to resume dialogue with the government might well be impelled by the aim of concluding an unfinished agenda. The Congress party is comparatively isolated. Could the conclusion of the unfinished agenda deliver the knockout blow to the Congress? The endgame of the soap opera being enacted to bring back black money from abroad would be of course the dramatic exposure of the Congress party VIPs. That explains the hysteria displayed by Congress leaders responding to Baba Ramdev. Would not leaders accused of receiving money from foreign governments by official foreign sources, and of holding illegal Swiss bank accounts by reputed foreign media, be in the natural course nervous at the prospect of the truth coming out about Indian black money abroad?
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Comments on this Article
Dinesh Kumar Bohre
06/07/2011 09:16 AM
Dinesh Kumar Bohre
06/07/2011 08:52 AM
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