Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh has advised veteran social activist Anna Hazare, who turned 74 on Wednesday, to refrain from going on frequent fasts due to his old age even as he sharpened his attack on Ramdev Baba calling him a "coward".
"If at all a fast has to be undertaken, it should be done by younger people like Arvind Kejriwal who are part of the civil society," Singh told reporters in Bhopal on Wednesday.
Amid a war of words between government and civil society members over the lokpal bill, both sides are scheduled to meet in Delhi on Wednesday for its drafting.
Meanwhile, furthering his attack on Ramdev, whom he described as a "fraud", the senior Congress leader said he would ask yoga experts to find out if the lessons taught by Baba were correct on not.
"As per whatever I know of yoga, it was not something which can be taught in a camp attended by thousands of people but it has to be done on a one-to-one basis between the teacher and the student," the party General Secretary said in Bhopal.
Singh said all 'fundamentalists' including Ramdev were "cowards" who run away at the first sight of any incident.
He said that just as the yoga guru had worn a kurta-pajama to escape the Delhi police, a Maulana in Pakistan under General Musharraf's regime had fled from police action by wearing a 'burqa'.
When asked about possible Congress performance in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections slated to held next year, Singh said he hoped that the party would win around 150 seats.
He said this prediction was based on the fact that the Congress had won more seats than the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) during the last Lok Sabha election from Uttar Pradesh.
On the return of Uma Bharti to BJP, Singh said it was not surprising as there was no other place where she could have gone.
Singh also said the BJP was never interested in really 'good sadhus' but only wanted to prop up "frauds" like Baba. When told that the BJP always criticises him, the Congress General Secretary said that he will always remain a villain for the BJP and he was proud of the fact.
He said that it was "wrong" on part of Sushma Swaraj to dance at Rajghat and added that the only 'persons with BJP mentality' can find reason to dance at the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi.