Apparently worried that an inquiry into various business enterprises owned by Baba Ramdev could have an adverse political fallout on the campaign on corruption jointly led by the Opposition and civil society, the Bharatiya Janata Party has advised the yoga exponent not to issue statements related to his wealth or other financial transactions.
Party spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy criticised Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for his statement in Kolkata charging the BJP with fomenting trouble across the country. For the Congress party, he noted, all those speaking about corruption were destabilising the polity and part of some BJP-RSS led strategy.
Earlier, it was Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh who had called Baba Ramdev a “cheat” and a “thug.” Now senior leader Mukherjee had joined the tirade, he said, although he was one of the Ministers who had received the Baba at the Delhi airport on June 1. It was the Congress which stood “isolated” on the issue of corruption.
Mr. Rudy said the Congress had no credibility and, therefore, no authority or right to conduct an inquiry into the financial transactions or businesses of Baba Ramdev.
The party's advice to the Baba was: “Do not make any statements or give any clarifications on allegations related to your wealth and businesses. Do not answer any queries. Your devotees and the people have faith in you,” Mr. Rudy said.
He did not respond when asked why the party demanded and expected the government to hold inquiries into corruption charges levelled against a Suresh Kalmadi or an A. Raja when it was of the view that it had no business to do so in the case of Baba Ramdev.
Separately and privately, some BJP leaders expressed satisfaction that the Baba had ended his fast. “The anti-corruption movement had been hijacked from us. Now that Ramdev's fast is over, the BJP's campaign will become more effective, politically.”
On allegations made in the draft CAG report that Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Limited in its KG basin explorations had possibly inflated its gas production costs and under-estimated profits, leading to cheating of the government with which it was to share profits, Mr. Rudy said, “I have not studied the allegations made and cannot respond.”