Ramdev a mascot of NDA: Congress leader

Baba Ramdev
Darbhanga (Bihar), Aug 13: Senior Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed slammed the NDA for using Yoga guru Baba Ramdev as a "mascot" to run down the Congress-led UPA government on the black money issue.

"It is obvious that Ramdev has emerged as a mascot of the NDA in its political fight against the UPA," Ahmed told reporters here. It was also a public knowledge that the NDA and RSS had lent backing to anti-corruption crusaders Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare, he claimed.

The BJP-led NDA had been using Ramdev as a front to run down the UPA government on the black money issue, but the opposition's hobnobbing with Ramdev was exposed after BJP chief Nitin Gadkari and NDA convener Sharad Yadav attended Ramdev's anti-graft agitation at Ramlila Grounds in New Delhi.

Ahmed, the Congress's West Bengal unit in-charge, dared the BJP to fight openly and directly with the UPA on public issues instead of riding piggyback on the Yoga Guru and said that it was for the people of the country to judge as to which parties have done the needful to bring back the black money from abroad and taken steps on the Lokpal Bill to eradicate corruption.

The BJP remembers black money and Lokpal issues only when in opposition and asked the main opposition party to prove a single step taken by it on the twin issues while ruled the country for six years between 1998 and 2004, the senior Congress leader asked. 

On the black money issue, Ahmed said that the UPA government had signed bilateral agreements with 32 countries for exchange of information on black money stashed abroad and said the efforts towards bringing back the ill-gotten wealth from India was heading in the right direction.

Under the bilateral agreement signed with Germany, the facts have come out that Rs 34,000 crore were deposited in the banks of that country by the diamond merchants of Gujarat, he said.

The Congress leader, at the same time, sought to make light of the issue that the black money was a serious issue and said that the ill-gotten wealth deposited in the banks in the world has only a minuscule share of 0.01% from India.

On the Lokpal issue, he said the UPA government was making sincere efforts to formulate a strong bill.


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