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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

Rahul Cong's desperate PM choice, says Ramdev

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, December 21, 2013
First Published: 17:52 IST(21/12/2013) | Last Updated: 19:25 IST(21/12/2013)

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev sees the Congress projecting Rahul Gandhi as its prime ministerial candidate to save itself after "humiliating defeat" in four of the last five assembly elections.

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On a number of occasions, the Congress leaders had conceded defeat in the coming Lok Sabha elections, Ramdev told reporters here on Saturday. "Rahul Gandhi is being projected as party's PM candidate not to see him on the chair, but to save the party," he claimed.

Criticising the Centre's proposing to file a review petition in Supreme Court its homosexuality verdict, he said that the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) should have taken the matter before Parliament. "I am surprised to see the Congress' response on the verdict. Has it ever shown similar interest on issues concerning the poor?" said Ramdev.

He asked voters to elect 300 parliamentarians who could take a decisive stand on various issues, and to motivate them, he will be on a nationwide campaign, Yog Mahotsav, in March. "The mobilisation for the campaign will start from March 1. On March 23, I will lead it in Delhi when more than 2-lakh people will participate," he said, adding that the campaign would reach the tehsil level.

He sees the parting of ways between social activist Anna Hazare and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal as unfortunate development when time had come for Kejriwal to prove himself.

'Khemka free to join any party'

Ramdev dodged media queries related to Haryana, his home turf. Asked if he would support the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on its possible electoral debut in the state, he only said: "Whatever will happen, will be good." Asked whether Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Ashok Khemka, who had taken on the son-in-law of the most powerful Congress leaders, should accept the invitation to join the AAP, Ramdev said it was his personal choice. "He has done what even (AAP leader) Arvind Kejriwal could not while in service. Entering politics will be a historic moment and it is up to him which party he wants to go with," said the yoga guru.

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