SATURDAY, 14 JANUARY 2012 23:20 PIONEER NEWS SERVICE | NEW DELHI
The ‘ink-attack’ on yoga guru baba ramdev evoked a strong reaction from the political class and social activists. But then it also saw parties vying for linking the incident to their rivals.
Anti-corruption crusader anna hazare said the ink was actually thrown at the face of democracy while veteran bjp leader lk advani demanded suitable action against the culprit. Janata party chief subramanian swamy, who has been on the forefront of the spectrum war against the centre, said the incident cannot be tolerated, especially when it seems inspired by a section of the congress party.
“this is not an attempt to blacken the face of swami ramdev. This is an attempt to blacken democracy,” hazare said in a statement from his village. “someone’s unblemished life cannot be sullied due to the ink, which will be wiped off clean in two minutes. But those, whose life is stained with corruption, goondaism and loot… Those stains won’t be washed away,” he said.
In chennai, advani said, “we hope that the person who has done it is identified by the government and suitable action taken.” Leader of opposition in rajya sabha arun jaitley described ramdev as a spiritual and religious activist who had every right to campaign against black money. “criticism is acceptable, but such acts cannot be defended,” he said.
Holding congress responsible for the attack, madhya pradesh chief minister shivraj singh chouhan demanded congress president sonia gandhi’s apology for this “undemocratic act”. “by indulging in this act against ramdev, congress has not only applied ink on yoga guru’s face, but has blackened the party’s face. The congress chief should apologise to him for this unfortunate incident,” chouhan told reporters at indore.
For his part, rjd chief lalu prasad sought strict action against the culprit and rued that such instances aimed at gaining publicity were become too common. “authorities should tighten the screws on such elements and deal with them firmly,” prasad said.
Bjp spokesman rajiv pratap rudy said other than the increasing instances of such incidents, there was also a “lurking suspicion” that the attack on ramdev has been prompted by the crusade launched by him against black money and corruption.
“sometime ago, we have witnessed ramdev and his followers being lathicharged and forcefully evicted from ramlila grounds and police terror being unleashed on them allegedly at the behest of the central government,” rudy said.
He maintained that the bjp was ‘constrained’ to believe that the incident could be an outcome of the designs of the upa government, which is suspected of retaliating against those who are raising a banner of revolt against corruption and black money.
But while congress spokesman rashid alvi countered it had nothing to do with opposition to the government from some quarters, congress general secretary incharge of uttar pradesh digvijay singh alleged it was a “well-orchestrated conspiracy” by rss. He claimed kamran sidique, who was behind the attack, was “anti-congress” and has links with bjp.