NDA leaders come out in support of Baba Ramdev's agitation

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Baba Ramdev
New Delhi, Aug 13: NDA leaders today came out in support of yoga guru Baba Ramdev's agitation against corruption.

BJP president Nitin Gadkari, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav and Janata Party president Subramaniam Swamy joined Ramdev at the Ramlila Maidan here to express solidarity with his cause.

Backing Ramdev's demand for black money to be brought back to the country, Gadkari said that the large sums stashed away in foreign bank accounts can be retrieved and used for the country's development.

He slammed the UPA government for not allowing banks in other countries to disclose the names of the persons who have such illegal accounts.

Stating that the CBI has now become the "Congress Bureau of Investigation", Gadkari alleged that the ruling party was trying to browbeat the yoga guru by arresting his close aide in false cases.

The BJP president urged all political parties to support Ramdev. He cited the opposition's success in stalling Parliament today on the issues of black money and corruption.

"This is not a political rally. We should all look beyond our political interests to support this movement," he said.

Sharad Yadav's speech focused on more or less the same things. He was full of praise for Ramdev and at the same sharply critical of the government. The JD(U) leader demanded that the CBI be made completely autonomous.

Pointing out that the yoga guru speaks the language of the masses, Yadav took a dig at Finance Minister P Chidambaram's inability to converse in Hindi. "Chidambaram doesn't know the national language and he only speaks English," he quipped.

He rued that the aspirants who cannot speak English fluently are not getting jobs nowadays. Referring to Team Anna, Yadav described Anna Hazare as "a honest man" and said that the Gandhian had been misled by some Delhi-based activists.

Speaking earlier in the morning, Subramaniam Swamy stressed that the yoga guru's movement was not being propelled by the NDA.

"Baba Ramdev has not excluded Congress from his statement. I would like all parties to come and join with Baba Ramdev. It is not an NDA front," the Janata Party chief said. Alluding to Ramdev's attire, Swamy said that the people trust those dressed in saffron.

The yoga guru, on his part, exhorted his supporters to continue their agitation. "The government is deaf, blind and insensitive. It is in a coma, it will die, we don't want anybody to die. But they are inviting death. Congress hatao, desh bachao," Ramdev said.

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