Ramdev thrown out, BJP knocks on President's door
An opposition NDA team met President Pratibha Patil today and demanded a special session of Parliament to discuss the crackdown on yoga guru Baba Ramdev as well as corruption-related issues, saying the government must explain its "brutal action".delhi Updated: Jun 06, 2011 16:08 IST
An opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) team met President Pratibha Patil on Monday and demanded a special session of Parliament to discuss the crackdown on yoga guru Baba Ramdev as well as corruption-related issues, saying the government must explain its "brutal action".
The delegation was led by top leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and also had members of the Shiv Sena, Akali Dal and Janata Dal-United.
"We met the President today to demand a special session of parliament, an emergency session, to discuss issues like corruption, black money stashed away in foreign banks and the manhandling of peaceful protesters, including women and elderly persons, who gathered to protest against such issues (at Ramlila Ground)," senior BJP leader LK Advani, who led the delegation, told reporters outside Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The crackdown, he added, was "ironically" against a person who was "welcomed by four ministers".
"The session will give us the opportunity to put our point of view and the government will also get a chance to present its views so that the guilty can be punished," he said.
The leaders called on the President after police forcibly removed Ramdev and thousands of his supporters from the Ramlila ground after Saturday midnight. Ramdev was airlifted to Dehradun from where he was taken to his ashram in Hardwar Sunday morning.
They asked the President to "compel" the government to explain its "brutal action", to bring a resolution declaring all Indian money stashed away in foreign banks as "national wealth" and to introduce a "legislation to empower the enforcement authorities to take severe penal action against those who have indulged in such criminal pilferage of national resources".
"The President assured us that she will go through our memorandum and take the required action," Advani said.
Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson Archana Datta told IANS: "The President gave a patient hearing and assured that the memorandum will be examined and sent to the government for appropriate action."
"The President also reminded that receiving a delegation and memorandum has never been a mere formality and that appropriate action has always been taken," Datta said.
Claiming that the present government was the "most corrupt government in Indian history", Advani said because of their efforts the issue of corruption was widely discussed across the country.
BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad blamed the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for the police crackdown, saying: "We will expose this government as it is not at all keen to take any meaningful and effective action against the menace of corruption, black money and the fruits of crime and corruption lying abroad."
Others in the delegation included senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh, Murli Manohar Joshi and Ananth Kumar. Other opposition leaders including Ramsundar Das of the Janata Dal-United, Anant Geete of the Shiv Sena and Naresh Gujral of Akali Dal were also present.
"The barbaric attack on peaceful supporters of yoga guru Baba Ramdev by the Delhi Police on the instructions of the Union government is truly reminiscent of General Dyers' psychopathic action against freedom fighters in Jallianwala Bagh. Never before in recent history has brute force been unleashed on an assembly of unsuspecting people who were peacefully sleeping at that hour," the delegation said.
It said as a result of the attack, more than 70 people have been injured, while a woman has become paralysed for life.
BJP is also observing a 24-hour protest at Rajghat since Sunday evening.
The party had announced the satyagraha after Ramdev was evicted from the Ramlila ground in central Delhi. Sushma Swaraj, one of the most vocal leaders of the party, danced, as other leaders cheered her at the Rajghat site.