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Anti-corruption fight: Ramdev-BJP vs Govt

Last updated on: June 6, 2011 11:47 IST

Anti-corruption fight: Ramdev-BJP vs Govt

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Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders -- LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari and Arun Jaitley -- spent the night at Delhi's Rajghat in protest against the government's controversial handling of Baba Ramdev and his fast against corruption.

Swaraj, leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, turned it into a festive atmosphere, and was seen dancing. Advani was accompanied by his daughter during the dharna at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial.

There was a small altercation between police and the BJP activists, who allege that they were not allowed to extend their pandal.

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Image: BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, LK Advani and Nitin Gadkari led an all-night protest in Rajghat
Photographs: Reuters
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Ramdev's arrest a blot on our democracy: BJP

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Addressing BJP workers at the 24-hour 'satyagraha' site at Rajghat, BJP President Gadkari said he has spoken to Ramdev, who has resumed his agitation against corruption.

"I spoke to Baba Ramdev; he has resumed his fast. We are with the people who fight against corruption. This is a fight to save democracy and it is not a fight of one party or individual but the fight of the nation," he said.

Slamming the Congress for "attacking" Baba Ramdevt, the BJP said the government has put a blot on democracy in the country.
"Home Minister P Chidamabaram has replaced General Dyer, who had massacred peaceful agitators in Jallianwala Bagh during the freedom struggle," Gadkari told a dharna at Rajghat.

"Sunday's incident has put a blot on the democracy in the country. Do people not have rights to agitate? Chidamabaram is the new Dyer in the country," he said.

Gadkari, Advani and Swaraj spent the night planning the future strategy of the party on the issue.

The BJP President also accused the home minister of playing a key role in the 2G spectrum scam, saying "This man has made a lot of money. He was the master of the band played by A Raja."

Gadkari urged party workers to spread the reality about the Ramdev incident across the country. Attacking Digvijaya Singh without naming him, the BJP chief said the Congress General Secretary addressed terrorist Osama bin Laden with respect but orders lathicharge against saints such as Baba Ramdev.


Image: A file photo of BJP chief Nitin Gadkari and senior leader L K Advani

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'Like 1975, 2011 could be a turning point for the country'

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Advani said the BJP had earlier also raised the issue of black money and will continue to support those who fight against the menace.

Thanking the media for highlighting the issue of black money stashed away in foreign banks, Advani said a movement against black money would not have grown to this level without the media highlighting it.

He said the BJP gathering at Rajghat could have been bigger but the police gave permission for only 250 people. He compared the present establishment with that of the emergency days.
"If 1975 could be the turning point of the country, 2011, 12, 13 and 14 can also be so. The people of India will not tolerate such atrocities," Advani said.

The senior BJP leader said Ramdev wanted to continue his protest in Uttar Pradesh but was denied permission there for the same.

"I talked to him and said that he had given support to BJP's fight against corruption and he would definitely get success in his mission," he added.


Image: BJP supporters shout slogans in favour of Ramdev as they burn an effigy of PM Singh
Photographs: Reuters
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Govt is treating Ramdev like a tadipar: Jaitley

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Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley alleged that the government continued praising Ramdev till the time it thought that he would "fall in its trap". "This is the first government which is treating a

religious leader like a 'tadipar' (externed). Pranab Mukherjee, the senior-most member in this government, welcomes Baba at the airport. Till the time they thought the Baba would fall in their trap, they were praising him," he said.

The BJP leader added that the government had in a way "attacked" the yoga guru at 0100 hours at night through the police action at the Ramlila Maidan.

The party will fight a long battle against corruption as it was a fight to bring back blackmoney and also to get fundamental rights, Swaraj said.

Ajay Arya, one of the disciples of Baba Ramdev, who was injured in both the legs in the police crackdown, was at the satyagraha site for a few minutes and deplored the police action on a "peaceful protest". "The time has come for 'Ram Rajya' and it is time for the UPA government to go. It reminds me of Jallianwala Bagh as people were beaten up mercilessly," he said.

Wishing for speedy recovery of Arya, Gadkari said the black money stashed away in foreign banks should be brought back to the country.


Image: BJP leader Arun Jaitley

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