New Delhi, June 5 : With the midnight crackdown on Baba Ramdev's hunger strike coming under attack from the opposition and civil society, Congress President Sonia Gandhi this evening held consultations with senior party leaders to formulate a strategy.
Gandhi's deliberations with senior ministers and leaders came close on the heels of several opposition parties, including BJP, condemning the police action to break the fast at the Ramlila Maidan.
The entire opposition slammed the police action as a “shameful” chapter in India's democracy with BJP accusing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Gandhi of ordering the crackdown.
BJP announced it would hold protests across the country against corruption and “police brutality” against Ramdev and his followers.
Union Minister Kapil Sibal, who had held negotiations with the Baba, was present at the deliberations. Earlier in the day, Sibal had a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as also Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Besides Mukherjee, the leaders present at the meeting were Home Minister P Chidambaram and Defence Minister A K Antony.
Ahmed Patel, Political secretary to the Congress chief as also party leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mukul Wasnik, Birender Singh and Jagdish Tytler were present at the meeting.
A senior leader, who declined to be identified, said the party was not told about the police action like it was not aware of the four ministers, led by Mukherjee, driving down to airport on June 1 to meet Ramdev, a move which had come for flak from several party leaders. PTI