Naveen supports Ramdev`s campaign if peaceful

Naveen Patnaik extended support to yoga guru Ramdev`s campaign against black money, but said the movement should be pursued in Gandhian style.

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday extended support to yoga guru Ramdev`s campaign against black money, but said the movement should be pursued in Gandhian style.

"We will support your movement over black money and against corruption, if goes on peacefully in Gandhian style," Patnaik told Ramdev in presence of media after an hour-long discussion between the two.

The yoga guru, who praised Patnaik for taking several steps against corruption, wanted an assurance from the chief minister in the presence of media. Patnaik on his part said he was happy over launching of such a campaign by Ramdev.

Ramdev said Odisha was the only state in the country which had set up three special courts in separate zones to deal with corruption. "Other states are talking about it, Naveenji has done it silently," Ramdev said.

Targeting Congress, the yoga guru alleged that the Centre was afraid of taking "result oriented effective steps" to retrieve black money stashed abroad. "They are also hesitant to bring a strong Lokpal Bill," Ramdev said.

Stating that he was mobilising support from different political parties and leaders, Ramdev said they wanted to put pressure on the government from different quarters.

"We want pressure from political parties, people and all sections of society so that government will be compelled to retrieve Rs 400 lakh crore black money," Ramdev said adding those money should be invested in agriculture, research and development and other welfare schemes.

Stage was set for a rally in Delhi on August 9 and it would continue till steps are taken to retrieve black money, he said.

Besides keeping these black money in foreign countries, corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and other influential persons have invested them (black money) in mining, real estate and other businesses, he said.

"If black money is retrieved, India will certainly emerge as a major economic power," he said.

Ramdev`s Odisha visit assumed significance as it came a day after Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav extended support to his campaign on the issue of black money.

Later Ramdev wished Patnaik`s political `rath (car)` to roll down without any hurdles like Lord Jagannath`s chariot during the annual car festival.

"Ap ka rajniti rath age badhe (let your political car roll smoothly)," Ramdev told Patnaik.

Describing Odisha Chief Minister as "Cheer (ever green) Navin`, Ramdev said, "My heart turns green after meeting Naveenji. He is evergreen but today he is more green."

Responding to the yoga guru`s remarks, Patnaik said he was happy as he had just returned from Puri after holding a meeting on ensuing car festival of Lord Jagannath scheduled to be held on June 21.

Ramdev and his disciples were served green coconut water at the residence of the chief minister.