Current Affairs

Baba Ramdev sounds the bugle for 2014 Lok Sabha elections

Though last year the nation laughed at Baba Ramdev fleeing the police clamp down dressed in a salwar-kameez as the Congress leaders made the Yoga Guru a target of ridicule; the tremendous support received to the ‘Black Money’ agitation from people and other political parties, the high-tension drama that took place over the last two days of the fast has sent the Congress leaders in a tizzy. It now appears that Baba Ramdev is having the last laugh.

Coming together of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) parties and support from Congress allies like BSP, SP and NCP on the issue of black-money to support Ramdev sets the stage for the probability of a new force to take on the UPA government in particular Congress in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Congress leaders at the start of Ramdev’s fast decided to give it the same ‘I don’t care’ approach it had given Team Anna. Little did they realise the support pouring in from different quarters. Ramdev opened the doors on the first day to Congress to address the issue of black money and corruption. When they failed to respond to his legitimate demands while being accommodating, he turned to the other parties for support, a ground that was already covered over the last couple of months. When Congress failed to respond, seeing an opportunity to upstage the UPA government, the NDA and some of UPAs own allies decided to sing Ramdev’s mantra of ‘black money’. Following which the Yoga Guru fired the anti-Congress bullet that set the stage for the elections, ‘Congress Hatao, Desh Bachao’.

While Congress leaders are now trying to portray Baba Ramdev as an agent of the NDA, RSS and Sangh Parivar and will try to burden him with alleged tax evasion; what cannot be denied is that Ramdev’s strategy has damaged the Congress and also created a ‘third-front’ force for other anti-Congress parties to rally around.

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