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Chidambaram defends Govt. crackdown, says Ramdev defied orders

June 8, 2011 - New Delhi

Defending the government crackdown on the yoga guru and thousands of his supporters at Delhi's Ramlila ground, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday said Baba Ramdev had been given permission for a yoga camp for 5000 people, but he defied orders as nearly 65,000 people turned up at the venue.

"The government regrets injuries to the protestors. The permission was granted only for a yoga camp. Ramdev defied order presented by Delhi Police. The police used minimal force. Delhi Police will explain its action in Supreme court," Chidambaram told reporters here.

"Let Ramdev raise his cadre, law will take its own course," he added.

The Home Minister earlier in an interview to Doordarshan accused the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) with being behind Baba Ramdev's crusade against corruption, saying the Sangh apex body had decided to support all organisations and individuals raising the corruption issue.

"I think you should know who is behind Baba Ramdev. Go back to March 2011. At a meeting at Puttur in Karnataka, the Akhil Bhatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, which is the apex body of the RSS, decided to support all organisations and individuals that will raise the fight against corruption," he said.

Chidambaram said on April 2, the RSS had announced the formation of an anti-corruption front in which Ramdev is the patron.

"I think sections of the media, for reasons which I can't spell out, are engaged in competitive populist coverage of these movements. This undermines parliamentary democracy," he said.

The Home Minister further said he supported the civil society activists raising their voice against corruption.

"But I don't support elected representatives yielding their obligations and responsibilities to civil society representatives. Let us remember that the foundation of this country is parliamentary democracy," he added.


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