What's political about Baba Ramdev's fast?

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Baba Ramdev-Anna Hazare
New Delhi, Jun 4: With Baba Ramdev still determined to take on the system with his fast against graft that is currently underway at the Ram Lila grounds in New Delhi, there is a political storm that is clouding over. While the support seems divided from the civil society, it is the attitude of the UPA Ministers who are blowing hot and cold in their response to the fasting mega-event.

While, the five-hour marathon meeting failed to make a dent in the steely resolve of the Baba, Congress General Secretary is continuing his tirades against him. The recent jab by Digvijay stating, "What kind of satyagraha is this of a baba who travels in a jet, tent put up, doing satyagraha on an issue he doesn"t know about." There are reports that a government backchannel at work to break the impasse before the campaign snowballs into a bigger campaign.

It is only fair that the Congress curb the attempt right at the bud because of the Baba's affiliations with the RSS and the BJP. Baba, however, in an effort to make the fast as apolitical as possible, has not responded to the feelers given by the right-wing parties. Inside sources in the Congress party has commented that the government should not allow Ramdev's campaign to get as bigger as Hazare's. They also feel that it was “easier to deal with Ramdev than Hazare."

The presence of Sadhvi Rithambara, an accused in the Babri Masjid Demolition case sharing the dias with Baba Ramdev has also raised quite a few eyebrows. She stated in a speech, "if there were more Vallabbhai Patels, then there was no need for a sanyasi to sit on satyagraha."

With the BJP setting its agenda on the UP elections next year being determined not to team up with major players there, the onus is definitely on the party to team up with someone like Baba Ramdev who has shot up in the goodwill meter.

But, in spite of the political undercurrents that seem hidden in the tidal wave of the fasting campaign, let us hope that Ramdev's campaign is not intended for political brownie points and solely intended for the larger good.

OneIndia News

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