Team Anna, Baba Ramdev go separate ways, alliance over?
Baba Ramdev and Team Anna shared a stage on Sunday, calling for an end to corruption and renewing demands to bring back black money. Just two days later however, it looks as though both sides will 'respectfully' go their separate ways.
Baba Ramdev and Team Anna shared a stage on Sunday, calling for an end to corruption and renewing demands to bring back black money. Just two days later however, it looks as though both sides will 'respectfully' go their separate ways over a difference of opinion on whether they ought to be 'naming and shaming' politicians.
Playing down reports of differences with Ramdev, Team Anna announced that they would support Ramdev, by participating in a 9 August protest by the yoga guru. They have also invited Ramdev to join their agitation from 25 July. However the key point of difference between the two sides - whether naming politicians is appropriate or not - continues to remain a sticking point.
Ramdev who has been courting political parties to get support for his campaign against black money, has been critical of Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal's 'name and shame' strategy, even going so far as to publicly contradict Kejriwal after he made a speech saying that the Lokpal bill would never get passed as long as MPs like Suresh Kalmadi, A Raja and Lalu Prasad Yadav remained in parliament.
Soon after Kejriwal finished his speech, Ramdev took the microphone and said, "Today, we thought that we will not name anybody. But Arvind took the names. We don't want any controversies. Arvind does not have any enmity with anyone. The names have been taken in some context. We are against personal criticism".
Kejriwal left the fast venue soon after, although he maintained that he had been forced to do as he had been feeling unwell.
Since then, Ramdev has stuck to his policy of refusing to name any individuals, choosing instead to espouse the larger causes of bringing back black money and ending corruption. However Anna Hazare is clearly sticking to his team's stand of directly referring to individuals.
The team Anna core group had a meeting on Monday, following which Anna launched a direct attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying that after seeing the coal blocks' allocation papers, he was suspicious about the Prime Minister's role in it.
Asked about Ramdev's snub to Kejriwal for taking names of Prime Minister and other ministers, Hazare said, different people have different opinions.
Kejriwal has been insisting that taking names of politicians, including the Prime Minister, was necessary to keep the pace of the movement.
He also contradicted the yoga guru's claims that a protocol was set not to take names of politicians or make personal attacks during speeches at the venue.
Whether the issue can be resolved and a compromise can be reached remains to be seen, but as of this moment it looks as though both sides are holding their ground. For all we know they may agree to disagree, but what looks more likely is the end of the Anna - Ramdev alliance.
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