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Congress, BJP spar over Baba Ramdev

Congress leaders on Wednesday attacked Baba Ramdev asking him to come clean on the source of funding for his activities before targeting their party on the issue of blackmoney while the BJP defended the yoga guru.



New Delhi: Congress leaders on Wednesday
attacked Baba Ramdev asking him to come clean on the source of
funding for his activities before targeting their party on the
issue of blackmoney while the BJP defended the yoga guru.

Maintaining that financial records related to his
activities were with the government, Ramdev asserted that he
was "not against" the Congress after party general secretary
Digvijay Singh accused him of being biased. Ramdev said he
will form a party in June to fight "corruption which had
become widespread in the country".
Accusing Ramdev of targeting the Congress, Singh said,
"He (Ramdev) must understand that we are also as much against
blackmoney as what he claims to be. My only request to him is
that he should be fair. He should not be partisan.

"He is targeting only one political party. But I have
only one request from him that whenever he accepts money from
his disciples, he should get a proof from donors that the
funds received by him are not black money," Singh told
reporters.

Party MP P L Punia demanded an inquiry into Ramdev`s
assets. "There should be a probe into how Ramdev got so much
wealth that he is opening ashrams across the world.

"He should either continue with his yoga or join
politics," he said.

Echoing Singh`s views, party spokesperson Shakeel
Ahmed said, "Natural justice demands that one who has levelled
allegations against others, should himself come clean."

At the same time, he dismissed the contention that
party leaders Digvijay Singh and Punia`s attack on Ramdev
meant that the Congress was targeting him because he was
raising the issue of corruption in UPA government.
"He is not only attacking Congress but accusing the
entire political class. He had alleged that a minister in the
BJP government in Uttarakhand had demanded Rs 2 crore bribe
from him. Before accusing somebody else, one should come clean
on one`s deeds or misdeeds," Ahmed said.

The Congress leader, however, hastened to add that the
issue has not come up for discussion in the party as it was
"not so important" and any statement on the issue was not been
given as party view or stand.

Reacting to Singh`s comments on Ramdev, BJP leader M
Venkaiah Naidu said, "The Congress has adopted a policy that
offence is the best defence. Whenever somebody raises any
issue against them, they start attacking that person.

"Now they are making absurd allegations against Baba
Ramdev that he has black money. Congress is in Government.
What has it done in this regard (to probe Ramdev`s alleged
black money)," the BJP leader said.

Speaking in Sibsagar, Assam, Ramdev said he planned to
launch a political party in June which would focus on
eradicating corruption and establishing a society based on the
principles of Gandhism.

Referring to Congress attacks, he said. "Why is
Congress making me feel guilty that I had accused the party of
indulging in corruption?"

"As a spiritual leader, it is our duty to make people
aware of the problem and urge them to come together and
fight against corruption," he said.

"The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh is an
accomplished economist, but has veered away from the
principles of Gandhism. He has been swayed by western
ideology," Ramdev told a yoga camp.

Earlier, Ramdev had accused Congress MP Ninong Ering
of calling him a "bloody Indian", a charge denied by the
lawmaker who said he was only objecting to Ramdev levelling
corruption charges against the party and Nehru-Gandhi family.

PTI

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