New Delhi: Digvijaya Singh is not among those astounded by Baba Ramdev's contentious eviction from Delhi where he was on a hunger strike against corruption in the government. "He is a thug who is misleading the nation" said Mr Singh, who is General Secretary of the Congress.
The police lathicharged and teargassed the Baba's 65000 supporters who had gathered for his "satyagraha."
"We can't allow someone like Ramdev to run riot in Delhi. He had permission only to run a yoga camp. He was trying to incite people," said Mr Singh, who has spoken frequently this week against the Baba and his attempts to force the government to launch a mission to recover crores of black money from foreign bank accounts.
The government engaged in fraught negotiations with the Baba for most of last week. Worried about the Baba's stature as a yoga icon who straddles activism, four senior ministers met him at the airport when he landed in Delhi earlier this week. Mr Singh was quick to refer to that gesture today, citing it as an example of the government's willingness to work with the Baba if he skipped his hunger strike.
"A senior leader like Pranab Mukherjee put his entire career on the line and went to meet him at the airport," said Digvijaya.
The talks between the government and the Baba crashed last night with both sides citing betrayal. Ministers who had been negotiating with the Baba said he had promised he would end his fast last evening. A letter was produced signed by the Baba's deputy declaring this. The Baba said the government was lying and that the letter had been conditional upon the government agreeing to his list of demands.
Mr Ramdev has been moved to his headquarters in Haridwar.