Union ministers and Congress party leaders are blaming one another for the mess they have landed in the handling of yoga guru Ramdev’s agitation after police’s midnight swoop at Ramlila Maidan on Sunday. First it was Digivijay Singh, Congress general secretary, and then other Congress functionaries like Janardhan Dwivedi and Anil Shastri who sought to blame the government and “administration” for what was essentially Congress’ top leaders’ decision to engage Baba Ramdev first to put down Anna Hazre and then dump him when he turned recalcitrant. Kapil Sibal, HRD Minister, who was their Man Friday, is now accused of “mishandling” the issue. Sibal says “everyone in the Congress and the government was involved in all decisions.” So, the ultimate objective is now to insulate Congress president Sonia Gandhi somehow. She is naturally furious that the whole thing collapsed with the baba blaming her and raking up the foreigner origin issue against her for the cops canning women at Ramlila. So Congress’ media managers are sending SMS to their media contacts that, at the Congress Core Committee Meeting, Sonia also strongly disapproved of the decision of four ministers led by Pranab Mukherjee and the cabinet secretary going to the airport to talk to Ramdev. One version is that Mukherjee said “very sorry” to her. But, within the Congress, there are serious doubts over whether Sonia was kept in dark. Some argue it was a decision of the Cabinet Committee of Political Affairs presided by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Even Sibal, who engaged Ramdev said so initially, and then said the Congress’ top leaders were involved in whatever happened. But is it possible that Sonia didn’t know? The externment of Ramdev too was a CCPA decision and there was a core committee meeting after that. Despite Congress managers’ spin, is it possible that Sonia was not briefed?
There is an informal committee, which coordinates party and the government, what was this committee doing then?
“Please ask the Government about the operation, it was their decision,” said senior Congress leader Digvijay 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, Sibal kept insisting 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. One man who has not said a word on police action is Home Minister P Chidambaram, who is head of the group of ministers (GoM) for media!