CONTINUING his tirade against corruption and black money stashed in foreign banks, Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev alleged that Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is heading the most corrupt government since Independence. Addressing a historic rally organised at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi on February 27 under the banner of Bharat Swabhiman Trust, he made it clear that he is not fighting against any party, person or family rather he is fighting against corrupt system, black marketeers and tax evaders and his crusade will continue in all circumstances. “My aim is to see a disease and corruption-free nation with the help of Yoga,” he said.
Apart from the representatives of over a hundred NGOs, noted activist Anna Hazare, former IPS Kiran Bedi, RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal, BJP MP Ram Jethmalani, Swadeshi thinker and ideologue KN Govindacharya, former Union Law Minister and Janata Party president Dr Subramanian Swamy, noted Kathavachak Vijay Kaushal Maharaj, VHP vice president Omprakash Singhal, Acharya Govinddev Giri Maharaj, Maulana Maksood Hasan Kazmi of All India Ulema Council and former Income Tax Commissioner Vishwa Bandhu Gupta also addressed the rally, which marked the martyrdom day of Saheed Chandra Shekhar Azad and the birthday of Swami Dayananda Saraswati.
Addressing the gathering of over 50,000 people, Baba Ramdev said Indian nationals have around Rs 400 lakh crore in black money, out of which Rs 300 lakh crore are stashed in banks abroad. Pointing his guns on Congress leader Digvijay Singh who questioned the activities of his trusts, the Yoga Guru said, “Let me tell those Rajas (Digvijay Singh) who threaten me with government’s power that this mass of humanity is all genuine and not a hired lot like they get. It is just a trailer. You will see the sea of people at Jantar Mantar on April 5 when a hunger strike will be organised under the leadership of Shri Anna Hazare.”
Baba also questioned the arrogance of the ruling Congress party for siding with the man who called him a ‘bloody Indian’. “I want to know from the Congress why almost all schemes and initiatives in the country are named after one family only? They may have contributed to the nation but are there no other heroes, great leaders or individuals in the country. If they will ignore our concerns, we will bring at least 10 lakh people to Delhi on March 23,” he warned.
Accusing the UPA government of being evasive on the question of black money he sought to know why India has still not ratified the United Nations Convention against corruption when 126 countries have already done so. He demanded the government to reveal the source and amount of black money stashed in Swiss banks. He said he would continue his crusade against corruption and asked citizens to join the movement. According to him, this money has been accumulated because of illegal mining, bribe-taking, tax evasion and so on. He disclosed that Rs 400 lakh crore have been spirited away to foreign banks by “corrupt and the dishonest”. If the money is brought back to our country then every home will get Rs. 2.5 lakh and the country can pay its entire foreign debt overnight. “Each village in the country will get about Rs 60 crore each for development if we distribute this money spirited away in foreign banks,” he added.
Looters in high posts should be prosecuted and the money looted by them should be taken back. “Unless exemplary punishment is given to these looters, such corrupt practices will continue,” he said. Questioning the rationale behind existence of branches of four Swiss banks and eight Italian banks in the country, he asked, “who are the people who keep money in these banks? Of course, it is not the common man.”
Noted jurist Ram Jethmalani, who is pursuing in Supreme Court the issue of bringing back black money stashed in foreign banks, also targeted the Gandhi family, squarely blaming it for facilitating sycophancy and shielding corruption and black money.
Shri Anna Hazare demanded implementation of stricter laws and transparent administration to tackle corruption. He said a strong Lokpal Act would act as a deterrent to corruption. He demanded the government to immediately set up a committee with at least half of its members being from the civil society to formulate a plan to strengthen the institution of Lokpal. Shri Arvind Kejriwal stressed on immediate reforms in the laws to curb corruption. Kiran Bedi said it is a good sign that the entire country is raising a voice against corruption.
Dr Subramanian Swamy declared that no corrupt would be left unfinished in the country and they would continue the crusade against corrupts. He said the entire country is with Baba Ramdev in this crusade. Shri Govindacharya said it is due to the corruption that inflation is increasing making the life of people miserable. He extended total support to Baba Ramdev. Shri Vishwa Bandhu Gupta alleged that two Congress leaders have links with Hasan Ali Khan, the Pune-based stud farm owner, who has stashed away huge sums in foreign banks.
After the rally, a group of leaders submitted a memorandum to President Pratibha Patil demanding strong anti-corruption law to deal with the menace. The protesters also marched in a procession to Jantar Mantar. The memorandum was signed among others by activist Anna Hazare, Ram Jethmalani and Govindacharya. It had 30 lakh signatories.