New Delhi: Amidst the raging row over the coal blocks allocation issue, yoga guru Baba Ramdev hit out at Congress on Saturday saying it has created a record in corruption.
Seeking the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Ramdev told a press conference, “If the PM is honest then who is dishonest?”
Ramdev alleged the Congress has garnered "gold medal in scams" and described it as a "sinking ship".
Ramdev also announced a fresh agitation targeting Congress from October 2 that will last till next Lok Sabha elections with immediate attention on upcoming Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
Though the location of launch of the fresh campaign was not announced, Ramdev said the programme is likely to start from Himachal Pradesh.
He said the immediate priority is the upcoming Assembly elections in Gujarat and HP.
Asked whether he was on a collision course with erstwhile Team Anna as it is likely to announce its political party on the same day, he said he was not in competition with anybody and that he will not comment on whether he will support them.
Queried about a survey which put Anna Hazare above him, he refused comment initially but later said it was done by a foreign agency.
"Media only said when I came (to Jantar Mantar for Hazare's agitation), crowd came and when I went, the crowd left," he said.
Ramdev further said that a conspiracy is being hatched against his ashram and trust. He said that an FIR in this regard has been lodged by him.
“There have been attempts by certain people to bribe people in our ashram to go against us. We are not blaming any particular person but have evidence to prove our claims. An FIR has been lodged by us on the basis of this evidence,” said Ramdev.
Ramdev’s reaction comes after the recent decision by the Income Tax department to cancel the registration of his trust as a charitable organisation and withdraw all exemptions granted to it.
“There are over 5 lakh charitable organisations in the country, then why is our seva being termed as a business?” said Ramdev.
The Patanjali Trust and other affiliate organisations had so far enjoyed exemption under Section 12 (a) of the Income-Tax Act; however, the I-T department on scrutiny of accounts pegged its taxable income at Rs 72.37 crore.
Among the sources of income for the trust are the Rs 14.75 crore received as membership fees in 2009-2010, Rs 15.41 crore from holding yoga camps (VIP coupon goes for Rs 2,100 and diamond coupon for Rs 1,100).
Also, the trust was found to have received Rs 13.69 crore as ‘anonymous donation’ while it admitted to have received only Rs 1.07 crore as such donations.
The I-T department has reportedly found serious discrepancies even in the disaster relief funds managed by the trust. For the year under assessment, Rs 4.36 crore was shown as donations for the fund, of which Rs 1.58 crore was claimed to have been spent on Bihar flood victims.
(With PTI Inputs)
First Published: Saturday, September 01, 2012, 13:11