New Delhi: The ruling Congress party has started a campaign to limit the damage caused by the Union government’s handling of yoga guru Ramdev’s agitation against corruption. The party released a booklet on Friday explaining its stand on current issues and announced a nationwide campaign to contain criticism against the United Progressive Alliance government that it leads.
“On the party’s behalf, we want to hold a number of programmes across the country to tell the people what the reality is and what is the Congress’ point of view on the present situation,” party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said on Friday.
Senior Congress leaders are expected to visit all state capitals as part of the campaign that will run through June. They will participate in one public rally and a media briefing in each state.
The booklet, titled The Congress View on Present Situation-1, dismisses claims that Rs 400 trillion in black money is stashed abroad as “ill-informed and baseless”. The demand for demonetizing high-value currency notes is “not only impractical, but fraught with grave consequences”, it said.
The party’s mouthpiece Congress Sandesh, released on Thursday, ran an editorial criticizing the government for sending four ministers to meet Ramdev at the Delhi airport ahead of his agitation. Its circulation was temporarily suspended before being released again on Friday.
It also indirectly blamed the Congress’ coalition partner in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry—the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)—for losses in the recent assembly elections.
“A lot of good work done by the ruling party was lost in the public anger against the alleged huge loss to the exchequer being attributed to DMK minister,” the editorial said, referring to former telecom minister A. Raja.
To a question on whether the Congress subscribed to these views, Dwivedi said the mouthpiece’s editor “has been advised not to put his own views in the editorial of the party magazine”.
In a separate development, Ramdev, whose health deteriorated on the seventh day of his fast, was admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital in Dehradun after being shifted from Haridwar.
PTI contributed to this story.