Paswan calls Ramdev's fast as 'drama'

Jalandar: Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan on Saturday termed Ramdev's fast as a "drama" and a "fight for political power".

"Baba Ramdev's fast is not a fight to bring back the black money stashed in foreign banks. It is a fight to gain political power," said Paswan at a press conference here.

"First he (Ramdev) said that the government has agreed to 99 per cent of his demands and then he went ahead with his fast. All this is a drama by the Baba to gain greater popularity," Paswan said.

"A sadhu cannot bring black money from outside, only a statesman can," he said, adding that his party does not support Ramdev as he has associated himself with the RSS and the BJP.

Talking about the minimum wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), Paswan said that he will soon meet the Prime Minister and the Rural Development Minister and demand equal minimum wages under the act across all states.

"We will demand that all workers under the MNREGA should be getting a minimum wage of Rs 200. When the funds are coming from the centre why should there be state wise discrepancies.

Paswan also said that Punjab and Haryana are equally prosperous but in Punjab the minimum wage is Rs 124 and in Haryana it is Rs 179.

Asked about the need of his party to enter into an alliance with the Congress Paswan said, "They need me. I don't need them."

"We will fight on all the 117 seats in Punjab Assembly alone," he said. Elections to the Assembly are due next year.

Asked whether he is considering an alliance with the BSP, Paswan said, "No no. Never with BSP".