Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday extended support to yoga guru Baba 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,” Mr. Patnaik told Baba Ramdev in presence of media after an hour-long discussion between the two.
The yoga guru, who praised Mr. Patnaik for taking several steps against corruption, wanted an assurance from the Chief Minister in the presence of media. Mr. Patnaik on his part said he was happy over launching of such a campaign by Baba Ramdev.
Baba 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,” he said.
Targeting the 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,” he said.
Stating that he was mobilising support from different political parties and leaders, Baba 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,” Baba Ramdev said, adding the money should then be invested in agriculture, research and development and other welfare schemes.
The 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 black money in foreign countries, corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and other influential persons have invested it in mining, real estate and other businesses, he said. “If black money is retrieved, India will certainly emerge as a major economic power,” he added.
Baba Ramdev’s Odisha visit assumed significance as it came a day after Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav extended support to his campaign on the issue of black money.