Wednesday, June 29, 2011

10 Arunachal hydro-power projects on hold, one cleared, Centre orders new study

Harish Gupta. New Delhi

In the bitter battle between Environment & Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh and the Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde over the fate of nearly a dozen hydro-power projects in Arunachal Pradesh,  the Prime Minister’s Office is reported to have found a new formula after marathon meetings past sometime.

According to the new formula, the work on 600 MW Bichom Hydroelectric Project being developed by the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (NEEPCO) will continue,  while remaining 10 other-hydro-power projects will have to wait until a new study is completed. The 10 projects in the state of Arunachal Pradesh shall generate a total of 1245 MW of hydropower.

Interestingly, the study will be conducted by WAPCOS Limited which is a government of India undertaking under the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR). Though Jairam Ramesh wanted his ministry to undertake this study, the PMO decided that Water resources ministry under Salman Khursheed be entrusted with the task. The orders for the study were issued yesterday night.
The project affected due to suspension of work include Utung HEP (100 MW), Nazong HEP (60 MW), Dibbin HEP (120 MW), Dimijin HEP (20 MW), Dikhri HEP (15 MW), Dinchang HEP (360 MW), Jameri HEP (50 MW),  Dinan HEP (10 MW), Nafra HEP (100 MW), and Gongri HEP (70 MW).

The Ministry of Environment and Forest had argued that most hydroelectric projects lead to submergence of significant land tracts that causes serious ecological imbalances. The study - Bichom Basin Study - will assess impacts within the Bichom river basin up to confluence of river Bichom with river Tenga.

The cost of the study has been shared on pro-rata basis by various project developers who propose to commission hydroelectric projects in the study area. With emphasis on terrestrial and aquatic ecology, the study envisages both primary as well as secondary data collection. The key features of the terms of reference for the basin study are primary data collection of water quality, aquatic ecology, terrestrial Ecology; and secondary data collection for meteorology, water resources, flora, fauna, and aquatic flora and fauna

 The key outcomes of the study are to provide sustainable and optimal ways of hydropower development of Lohit river, keeping in view the environmental setting of the basin and assess requirement of environmental flow during lean season with actual flow, depth and velocity at different level.

Some important aspects to be covered in the study are modification in hydrologic regime due to diversion of water for hydropower generation;  Depth of water available in river stretches during lean season, and its assessment of its adequacy vis-à-vis various fish species. The study will also cover the impact of discharge in river stretch during monsoon and lean seasons etc.

Jairam Ramesh was not available. But sources in the Ministry of Environment and Forest told the DNA that there was nothing personal on the issue. It was for the government to take a final call and would be decided on the basis of the study.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Cabinet reshuffle: Eyes on Punjab, UP elections

Published: Saturday, Jun 25, 2011, 8:18 IST
By Harish Gupta | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

With Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee making it clear that she would like her party to retain the Railways portfolio, the exercise for a major cabinet reshuffle has begun in right earnest.
Earlier, the Congress high command had suggested to Mamata that instead of Railways the TMC can take two other portfolios as the government is keen for major reforms in the sector.
When Mamata came to the national capital the subject came up for a discussion between her and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
It was also suggested to her that the TMC can take two full cabinet berths if she gives up Railways as this major infrastructure ministry be handled by a senior leader. Since there are no senior leaders in her party, it would be appropriate if the TMC cooperates.
However, Mamata clearly said Railways is crucial to her party and also for West Bengal. It was the Railways that gave her the political mileage over the Left. Therefore, it would not be possible for her to do so.
Sources close to Mamata told the DNA that she also indicated that Mukul Roy be made Cabinet rank minister in the Railways ministry. He is presently minister of state in railways along with two other ministers of state.
Sources in the government said at least three Union ministers, who were to be dropped from the cabinet and survived at the last minute, are sure to go on July 2 when the reshuffle takes place. Virbhadra Singh, Kantilal Bhuria and MS Gill are in the exit lounge and so are one or two faces from Maharashtra.
The focus of the party is Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand and Punjab where assembly polls are due next year. Therefore, while reshuffling these factors have to be borne in mind. Talks are also under way with RLD leader Ajit Singh so that the Congress can consolidate its gains in UP.
With suspense over Railways ministry over, the Congress high command has to deal with another UPA partner — DMK.
It has been demanding a Cabinet berth ever since A Raja was sent to jail. It seems the Congress leadership may not like to alienate its partner further. The DMK chief M Karunanidhi has been throwing tantrums over Lokpal Bill and other issues.
The Congress high command also has to decide whether to bring Punjab
governor Shivraj Patil into Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra. He had resigned as home minister in the wake of 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
The continuous bitterness between two senior party stalwarts — Pranab Mukherjee and P Chidambaram — has provided an opportunity to Patil to pitch in. The Rajya Sabha seat has fallen vacant in the wake Prithviraj Chavan moving in as Maharashtra chief minister.
A final call on Patil’s induction into the Rajya Sabha may signal his entry into the Cabinet too. A decision to this effect is likely to be taken in the next one week.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jairam does U-turn on Madhya Pradesh dam project

Published: Friday, Jun 24, 2011, 0:41 IST
By Harish Gupta | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Environment and forest minister Jairam Ramesh seems to have taken a U-turn again. In a sudden shift, he has now cleared the Maheshwar Hydro Electric Project in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday after ordering “stop work”. Jairam Ramesh had issued the “Stop Work” order on the 400 MW Maheshwar projectin Madhya Pradesh in April last year.
Minister overrules panel decisionOverruling the decision of the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC), Ramesh approved opening up of Tara, Parsa East and Kante Basan coal-blocks in the Hasdeo-Arand forest region of Chhattisgarh. In his order, Ramesh said that he disagrees with the “final recommendations” of the FAC.
DNA Correspondent

Pay and get penalized

A dear friend of mine who was on a holiday here sometime ago had an interesting story. He said to me, "Its quite funny here. First of all, files don't move and Babus won't work. Politicians won't listen without a price. If you pay the price as demanded, you go to jail. If you don't pay, you suffer. If you pay, you go to jail too."
Is Dr Manmohan Singh listening ? After all, it was he liberalized the economy under P V Narasimha Rao in 1991 and in 2011  -- within 20 years, the price tag has a jail tag too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

CBI out of RTI ambit: NAC will lodge protest with UPA

Published: Wednesday, Jun 22, 2011, 0:19 IST
By Harish Gupta | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi hold regular parleys to sort out thorny issues including major cabinet reshuffle, several members of the National Advisory Council (NAC) have strongly criticised the government for keeping the CBI out of the ambit of the Right To Information (RTI) Act.
Aruna Roy, a member of the NAC headed by Sonia Gandhi who doggedly fought for the enactment of the Right to Information during the UPA-I in 2005, was enraged over government decision to exempt CBI to provide information.
Without mincing words, she said, “On one hand the government talks about transparency and accountability, and on the other make such amendments to an existing law without proper consultations?”
She made it clear that the NAC plans to counter the Cabinet move and take up the issue with the UPA. Roy is the third NAC member to have strongly opposed the cabinet move.
Earlier, NAC members Harsh Mander and Dr Naresh C Saxena had hit out at the UPA Government and said, “We will definitely launch a strong protest against the government decision as there is no need to provide blanket immunity to the CBI,” Mander declared.
Mander also stated that Section 8 of the Act provided: no person may be given access to information that will impede an investigation or prosecution process or endanger the life or the safety of any witness or disclose the identity of informants working with law enforcement agencies.” Therefore, there was no justification for such a cabinet decision.
However, Dr Saxena, said, “It has to be first passed by parliament and only then the rule becomes a law. That has not happened so far.”

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Govt panel fails to trace even a single money laundering case

Published: Monday, Jun 20, 2011, 0:16 IST
By Harish Gupta | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

The government may be after money launderers and tightening laws to prosecute the offenders. It committed to prevent the flow of funds into the country in the name of charity. But the efforts seem to have come to a naught.
The finance ministry told DNA that a high-powered committee set up by the government to track cases of money laundering and terror financing in the garb of charity and non-profit organisations (NPOs) not a single case has come to its notice.
The ministry went on to say that since not a single case of terror financing and money laundering has come to the notice through charity organisations, there is no question of launching prosecution.
In a written communication, deputy director in the ministry of finance, Rosemeary K Abraham told the DNA, “The high-powered committee was constituted on June 17, 2010 to identify persons who own, control or direct the money laundering and terror financing. However, the committee has yet not recognized any case of money laundering”.
When asked how many cases have been tracked of such activities, the finance ministry official said, “none”.Since no case of money laundering was detected, the question of launching any prosecution does not arise.
However, it was asserted that “the committee will continue its work and seek requisite information from the concerned ministries and states to assess the risk of money laundering in the NPO sector. The requisite information is still awaited. Hence, the committee could not conclude the threat of money laundering in the NPO sector in India.”
The high-powered committee comprised officials from the ministries of finance, corporate affairs, planning commission, charity commissioner, Mumbai and Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Sources say the world body on money laundering had expressed its dismay with the Indian authorities.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dayanidhi Maran finds a friend in CBI

Published: Friday, Jun 17, 2011, 1:45 IST
By Harish Gupta | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran may be under extreme pressure to quit for allegedly forcing Shivashankaran to divest Aircel equity during his tenure in the telecom ministry.
Aircel had secured a telecom license but was forced to divest equity to the Malaysia-based Maxis group as Maran wouldn’t issue him the necessary permissions. Later, Maxis group invested Rs700 crores in Sun TV which is owned by the Maran family.
But the 45-page presentation made before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) recently on the 2G spectrum was virtually silent on Maran’s role in the scam.DNA has in its possession a copy of the CBI’s presentation made by CBI director A P Singh before the 30-member JPC headed by P C Chacko.
The 45-page presentation gave a graphic account of how Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) began suo moto investigations into the 2G scam in early 2009, how the policies were formulated by respective governments beginning 1994 when the telecom sector was liberalized, how the new telecom policy was announced in 1999, the role of various ministers who held the telecom portfolio and other aspects. It also dealt with the role of jailed telecom minister A Raja extensively and every player and various corporate houses who benefited from the scam.
Without naming Arun Shourie who held the telecom portfolio during 2003-04, the presentation clearly indicated that the policy was tweaked by the TRAI chairman who fixed the entry-fee for the 4th player in the Unified Access Service Licenses (UASL) at a price which was fixed in 2001.
But the CBI reduced the Maran era to just one page saying that the FDI limit in the telecom sector was enhanced from 49% to 74% and it was announced that new licences would be issued under the new policy.
The presentation made no comment on any wrongdoing by the minister or any of the officials in the ministry from 1994 to 2010 period.
The only place Aircel found mention was on page 44 wherein CBI said that it has registered a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) which would deal with four issues namely…
“Issue1 : New UAS Licenses in 2003-04 on the basis of clarification dated 14.11.2003 of chairman TRAI on the basis of First-Come First Policy (read Arun Shourie here),
Issue 2: Continuing grant of new UAS licences on first-com-first-served basis at 2001 prices during the years 2004 to 2007 (including the allegations in Aircel-Maxis deal)
Issue 3: Allocation of spectrum beyond contracted quantity of 6.2 MHz on subscribers linked criteria since the decision dated 01.02.2002 (read Late Pramod Mahajan here)
Issue 4: Any other issue found relevant including those reported in One Man Committee’s report dated 31.01.2011.”
A senior member of the JPC disclosed that the CBI director was closely questioned on the casual manner in which Aircel had been mentioned in the presentation.
The JPC would press for a detailed report in this regard when it meets in the first week of July, these sources said.
Sources in the CBI maintained that only a PE has been registered on Aircel and a detailed note would be sent to the JPC soon.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Manmohan Singh changes tack, wants ministers to be pro active

Published: Monday, Jun 13, 2011, 1:13 IST
By Harish Gupta | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

With Baba Ramdev ending his fast, the government is now gearing up to deal with a number of serious political issues. If prime minister Manmohan Singh decided to stay put in the capital during the scorching heat to clear the huge back-log, Congress president Sonia Gandhi decided to go on a vacation and return by the mid-week only.The Cabinet Committee on Parliament (CCP) will be meeting here on Tuesday to take a decision on convening of the parliament’s monsoon session.Sources told the DNA that the session will be held from July 20-21.

The government is fully conscious of the fact that Swami Ramdev may have been put in his place in Haridwar and Team-Anna Hazare may be on the back-foot too, the issue of corruption in high places and Lokpal will have to be addressed effectively. The prime minister has directed the Group of Ministers on Media to take pro-active steps to communicate government’s view point on black money, Lokpal and other sensitive issues. Until now, the GoM is only explaining issues raised by others and has been on the defensive.

Sources say that a massive publicity blitz on this front is likely to be launched during the coming weeks and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee will provide the much-needed input. The government is also toying with the idea of coming out with some “disclosures” on the black money to erase the impression that whatever it is doing it is because of the pro-active judiciary. With regard to Lokpal, the PM is keen for a nationwide debate whether the office of the PM and judiciary be included in the ambit of the Lokpal.

The PM is in the process of re-constituting his council of ministers to strengthen this message further. He has taken note of the comments made by defence minister AK Antony recently who had gone on record that “Netas, Babus and others are thwarting transparency revolution taking place in the country.”

Digvijay Singh played spoilsport for Congress

Published: Saturday, Jun 11, 2011, 0:11 IST By Harish Gupta
Place: New Delhi Agency: DNA

AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh may have scored a point or two with his diatribe against Baba Ramdev but the party high command is not with him as is being construed.

The party has to date kept away from the twin-troubles facing it - Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev. The party view: No need for it to be pro-active on issues raised by the duo. Let the government handle them. So, it did not interfere when the government deputed five union ministers to draft the Lok Pal Bill, nor when it constituted a 4-member Group of Ministers to talk to Ramdev.

Sources told DNA that the only question Sonia asked in the party’s core committee meeting was: Why did Pranab Mukherjee go to the airport to talk to Ramdev? That left everybody speechless. The cat was out of the bag. She was unhappy. Divijay Singh took advantage. He was aided by Union Home minister P Chidamabaram. The rest of the damage was done by Ramdev himself who turned out to be a bad negotiator.

Sources say that Digvijay Singh-Ramdev tussle had a lot more to do with Madhya Pradesh politics, that there were Congress leaders opposed to Digvijay who sided with Ramdev. These leaders point out that Swami Ramdev was neither a RSS agent and nor with the BJP. On the contrary, he was being propped up by a strong section of the Congress. The assessment was that Baba Ramdev could cause enough damage to the BJP’s vote bank.

Therefore, there is a re-think on the handling of the Ramdev issue and Digvijay Singh’s may not be the last word on Ramdev. Even otherwise, the government had been very liberal to Ramdev giving him one or the other concession and patronising him all through.

He was about to meet Rahul Gandhi when all hell broke at the Ramlila ground, and things slipped out of hand.

New terror snoop will dog your every move

Published: Tuesday, Jun 7, 2011, 1:30 IST By Harish Gupta
Place: New Delhi Agency: DNA

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by prime minister Manmohan Singh on Monday gave its in-principle approval to Union home minister P Chidamabaram’s brainchild — the ambitious National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) project.

NATGRID, which was conceptualised after the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai, aims to integrate all information regarding citizens to help intelligence and security agencies tackle terror threats. This means the government will have an eye on you every time you swipe your debit or credit card, travel and make calls.

The project had been awaiting clearance since December 2010. The finance ministry had raised concerns about the infringement of privacy and had shot down a proposal to have the complete data of all savings bank account holders. Various central agencies too were apprehensive about sharing sensitive information.

The approval for NATGRID came after Chidambaram on Monday allayed fears about the misuse of privacy and confidential data.

The ministry of home affairs (MHA) made a detailed presentation about the project along with the safeguards and oversight mechanisms. NATGRID will function under the home ministry and a detailed proposal will be brought before the Centre later.

The project will have a budget of Rs2,800 crore and will be headed by Raghu Raman, 47, an ex-serviceman and former chief of the Mahindra Special Service Group.

As per plan, 21 databases will be integrated into one centralised database in order to provide quick access to the security agencies on information regarding terror suspects and internal security threats.

These include details of income tax, railways, airlines, stock exchanges, bank accounts, credit card transactions, visa and immigration records, telecom service providers and chemical vendors.

Eleven agencies, including the National Investigation Agency, Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing, Defence Intelligence Agency, Directorate of Air Intelligence, Directorate of Naval Intelligence, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and Enforcement Directorate, will have access to the centralised database.

Security agencies had lost crucial time in scrambling for information from several agencies after the 26/11 attack. “At present, the police have to go through a long-drawn process of reaching out to different officials to garner any information on a terror suspect. This takes months. NATGRID will simplify the process and every movement of a citizen can be tracked down on the basis of real-time information,” a MHA official said.

It will have a command centre that will work as an anti-terror hotline and will have a transnational connect to networks with data available in other countries. In the first phase, NATGRID will be linked only to the databases available with the Centre and the crime records with the police. Only in the second phase, will the NATGRID cross-link different pieces of information and flag "tripwires" that indicate some unlawful or terrorist activity is in progress or likely to take place.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Eviction of Ramdev didn’t end the crisis

Published: Monday, Jun 6, 2011, 0:50 IST
By Harish Gupta | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Even as sudden break-down of talks between the government and Baba Ramdev after the deal had been “100% clinched” in writing is shrouded in mystery, the government is extremely worried over the nationwide fallout of the past-midnight police action to evict the yoga guru from Ramlila ground.
The government on Sunday fielded several ministers, including Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, HRD minister Kapil Sibal and tourism minister Subodh Kant Sahay, to douse the fire.
But it was keeping its fingers crossed. Ramdev has not shown any signs of relenting and vowed to continue his fight and re-enter Delhi.
The government was also aware that not only the BJP but other political parties may rally behind the iconic yoga guru. The
BSP, SP, JD(U) and civil society activists have already condemned the brutal police action.
There were clear signs of reconciliation. That despite the bitter public spat both sides had left enough room for talks when the storm blows over. If Pranab Mukherjee said that the use of force was “unfortunate”, Swami Ramdev also distanced himself from the BJP, saying his movement had nothing to do with the saffron party.
Subodh Kant Sahay, one of the key negotiators and considered close to Ramdev, gave a graphic account of the talks after clinching the mutually acceptable deal on “action taken report on black money”. He refused to hazard a guess why Swami Ramdev announced his decision to go on fast after promising to negotiators to the contrary. “It’s a mystery to me and we were forced to release his letter only when he did not give up his fast in lieu of our written commitment as promised,” he said.
The fact that instead of HRD minister Kapil Sibal, it was Sahay who faced the press through the day and Mukherjee also pitched in.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Sonia Gandhi-Manmohan Singh chemistry: Pehle aap, pehle aap!

Published: Thursday, Jun 2, 2011, 1:27 IST
By Harish Gupta | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

The group of ministers (GoM) on media to handle 24X7 trial on TV channels, internet, and print of the government has an interesting tail that reveals the chemistry between PM Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Both were extremely upset the way government was getting round-the-clock bashing on 2G, black money, corruption, etc. The blame was laid at the doorstep of information and broadcasting minster Ambika Soni.
Pushed to the wall, Soni got an opportunity last month to travel with the PM and Sonia and bitterly complained that no senior minister was available whenever needed by the press to rebut the charges levelled by the opposition. She doled out a couple of incidents, causing Sonia Gandhi to raise her eyebrows. But neither of them said anything to her. Perhaps each was waiting for the other to respond and the journey ended leaving Sonia baffled.
It was only the following day that the PM called Soni and told her that she should have brought the matter to his notice earlier. A GoM was formed and “UPA War Room” was created, which meets everyday. So Soni is not blamed individually for any media mess; it is a collective affair. But thus far the GoM (media) is only explaining and defending the government rather than being pro-active, be it on Anna Hazare or Swami Ramdev.
Hectic June looming:With as major decisions due to be taken, high-flying ministers are being grounded as the PM tells them to stay put in the capital as far as possible. The PM and Sonia are to decide on the long-pending cabinet reshuffle but it isn’t proving easy, especially with the PM keen for a major surgery to send out the signal that he will not tolerate tainted and inefficient persons in his cabinet. Complicating the situation is the DMK’s demand for a berth in place of A Raja while a couple of new Congress faces, such as Janardhan Dwivedi, are set to be brought in.
Meanwhile, the TMC wants Rs25000 crore for West Bengal (which is in the pipeline now) and there is talk about efforts being made to get Ajit Singh of the RLD to join the government and merge his party with the Congress. An advertisement with a photo of his late father Charan Singh by the government created a flutter. The government also has to take major decisions in respect of the Land Acquisition Act, Food Security bill, Lokpal bill, and to adequately respond to the clamour to bring back money stashed in tax-heavens. Finally, the leader of the opposition, Sushma Swaraj, is being sounded out about the appointment of new Central Vigilance Commissioner in place of PJ Thomas.
BJP face in UP: It is now almost certain that Rajnath Singh will be the BJP’s face in UP though leaders like Kalraj Mishra, Vinay Katiyar, Varun Gandhi, and others will form the core group. The BJP has decided to test the waters with its core Hindutva agenda. The decision is based on internal surveys carried out by certain professional pollsters at the behest of party chief Nitin Gadkari.
Lobbyists running for a cover: Ministers are shunning them and corporate houses are worried. With government agencies still active in tracking phone calls and emails, the mighty politicians are using landline numbers and personal meetings. Not even an SMS is welcome and no jokes on mobiles as such things have already put Amar Singh and many others in the doghouse. At least three Union ministers have quietly put up de-bugging equipment in their offices and homes that will signal that the person sitting opposite is carrying a tapping device.
Crop hits bumpers: The bumper crop this season has the government worried as food stocks are at a record 595 lakh tonnes with a storage capacity of the FCI is around 500 lakh tonnes. The private trader is not buying wheat while government doesn’t have capacity to store and the weather is playing truant. The market price is less than the minimum support price (MSP) given to the farmers. There is an export ban on foodgrains. The government doesn’t know what to do with National Advisory Council wanting 70% population covered under BPL category. Pranab Mukherjee is stretching his head as the subsidy bill closes in on the Rs80,000 crore mark.

Baba Ramdev snubs government; to go ahead with fast

Published: Wednesday, Jun 2, 2011, 14:10 IST | Updated: Wednesday, Jun 2, 2011, 23:23 IST
By Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr & Harish Gupta | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Yoga guru and political crusader Baba Ramdev is not just concerned about tracing and retrieving black money stashed away in Swiss and other foreign banks but also wants the corrupt to get ‘life’ or strung high, the gallows. Death for the wrongdoer, especially the corrupt, like they do in China!
He also wants some root-and-branch changes in the Constitution itself. He wants the president and the prime minister to be elected directly by the people. His government interlocutors have been trying to convince him that some of his demands were sensible, even feasible, but there were others which cannot be accepted because that would mean changing the Constitution.
The government has been telling the yoga man that political processes and administrative procedures cannot be done away with while dealing with important issues. It appears that the UPA-II government wants to pit Ramdev against Anna Hazare and his associates and it would like differences and rifts to appear in sections of civil society.
Meanwhile, Prime minister Manmohan Singh has made it clear that he was not averse to issue an Ordinance to punish the corrupt. As Ramdev wants black money traced and declared as “national asset” rather than the corrupt shown any concessions but should be punished severely, the Prime Minister was keen that some government response should be visible.
His own image has been dented in the past one year due to one or the other scam and he doesn’t want to be seen to be protecting the corrupt. He seems to have made up his mind and was willing to take firm action as was seen on the “nuclear deal issue”.
Sources close to the PM told DNA on condition of anonymity that he decided to “walk an extra mile with Ramdev to send the right signal” to countrymen. He personally went through the 12-point memorandum given to him by Ramdev and exchanged three letters with him.It was at his instance that Union Home minister P Chidambaram issued directive to the Delhi Police to allow the Yoga Guru to hold his month-long Yoga camp.
Sources also mention that the PM was keen to bring his office under the Lok Pal bill but the issue remained hanging giving an extra edge to the civil society activists like Anna Hazare. Now, the PM has taken command and was handling the Ramdev issue himself. It was largely because of this reason that he sent not only the ministers to the airport but also his principal secretary TKA Nair and cabinet secretary KM Chandrashekhar.