Bangalore: The government is not engaged in
any "back door" dialogue with yoga guru Ramdev, who went an
indefinite fast on the issue of repatriation of black money,
Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily on Saturday said.
"There is no back door and open door talks with any one.
Whether it is Ramdev or anyone," he told reporters here.
However, Moily evaded reply when asked whether the
government has sought the help of Art of Living founder Sri
Sri Ravishankar for negotiations with the yoga guru to end his
eight-day old agitation.
Offering his clarifications on a reported statement by
Ravishankar that he had been asked to hold talks with Ramdev,
Moily said "Sri Sri Ravishankar spoke to me from Berlin and
also upon his return to the country and asked me what is
happening. He expressed his concern over what is happening and
said he would speak to Ramdev."
Moily said told him that since he would be visiting
Haridwar to perform certain pooja for his father who passed
away recently he would ask Ramdev why he "reneged" on his
promise to call off the fast despite the government accepting
all his demands.
"Sri Sri asked me whether he can cite my name during
talks with Ramdev to which I agreed," Moily said.
On being insisted for a clear response on whether
Ravishankar was the government emissary, Moily remarked "I
don`t want to get into any kind of controversy. I have no
comments on such things."
Ramdev, continuing his fast at his ashram in Haridwar
since he was evicted by Delhi police from the Ramlila Grounds
along with his supporters on June 4, was admitted to a
hospital in Dehra Dun yesterday after his heath worsened.
Lashing out at BJP for its attack on the UPA government
over corruption and black money, Moily accused the party
leaders of trying to become "heroes" in the eyes of public
after "doing nothing" during the NDA regime.
"NDA Government slept for seven to eight years and no
action was taken to retrieve black money. Now they are trying
to become heroes," he charged.
Moily claimed the government had so far retrieved about
Rs 35,000-Rs 40,000 crore black money stashed away in foreign
banks, entered into agreements with about 63 nations to
introduce double taxation clause and ratified UN resolution
on curbing corruption.
He asserted that it was the UPA government that took
steps to enact "a strong" Lok Pal Bill before Anna Hazare
entered the scene, and ratified the UNO resolution to end
Moily said the government had drafted the Lokpal bill and
but for the intervention of Hazare, it would have been
introduced in Parliament in the last session itself.
He suggested to the Lokpal Bill committee members,
including Hazare, to discuss all issues pertaining to the bill
within the committee and not outside.