A war of words broke out between Kapil Sibal and Baba Ramdev on Saturday after the Union minister displayed a copy of the letter written by Ramdev’s supporter – which incensed Ramdev. The letter showed an undertaking given by the yoga guru’s camp that he will call off the strike by mid-day.
An angry Ramdev termed it “cheating” and said he would never ever talk to Sibal, who was described by the yoga guru as a “betrayer”.
During a press conference, Sibal distributed copies of a letter signed by Ramdev’s close aide Acharya Balkrishna in which his camp gave a commitment to the government on Friday that they will call off the strike this afternoon.
“Committee is only for making Law. This is for three things – money will come back, will be confiscated and strict punishment. Purpose of committee is to have law. Process of law is set out in this written assurance.”
Ramdev admitted that there was an understanding in this regard, but said he wanted to go ahead with the strike to ensure that government does not go back on its promise of giving him in writing that they have agreed to his demands.
“I will never ever in my life talk to Kapil Sibal. He has betrayed us…Now I will only go by what the Prime Minister assures,” he said addressing media at the Ramlila Maidan where he was sitting on a hunger strike on the issue of black money and corruption.
The yoga guru faced a volley of questions on why he did not disclose the understanding with the government to his followers as well as to the media.
“If I had revealed it and if the people have left this place and if government has gone back on its words then what would have happened,” he explained.
Sibal on his part said the government had no option, but to release the letter as Ramdev refused to call off the strike this afternoon as per the
“Ramdev has promised that he will call off the strike by this afternoon. We kept on calling him,” Sibal said, adding that the government’s initiative should not be seen as a sign of weakness. “This government has always reached out. If we are accommodating, we can also be strong.”
Sibal also added, “Baba is having some misunderstanding in that aspect. We said we will make a committee which will give its report in six months time. We have given about black money in writing. Black money will be declared as national asset and money will be confiscated.” CNN-IBN