Led by its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the BJP on Sunday attended a function organised by Baba Ramdev and agreed to implement his conditions for his support to the party.
Besides Mr. Modi, BJP president Rajnath Singh and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley were present at the foundation day celebrations of five trusts headed by Baba Ramdev.
In return, the Yoga guru promised the party that he would send his followers to each home across the country to canvass support for the BJP.
At the end of the function, Baba Ramdev declared that an agreement was reached on various issues, including replacement of the present taxation system with a single transaction tax, elimination of corruption, steps to bring black money back from foreign banks, payment of a minimum income to farmers before the start of sowing, and primacy for local languages.
The Yoga Guru said he lent his support to Mr. Modi in view of his work and resolve, while the Congress and its “prince” (vice-president Rahul Gandhi) had failed to deliver in the past decade.
He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself had admitted that he had failed to create jobs, tackle corruption and tame inflation. “Then why is he the PM? Hand power to capable people. We have the solution.”
Without referring to Dr. Singh’s recent statement, Mr. Modi said wild allegations were being levelled against him, but these only made him look back at his life to find the reason not to be a pessimist. He talked about himself as a tea seller in trains and on railway platforms, his mother who worked as a house maid, and the family that made a living by extracting the cotton from its seed. “I know the pain and hardship of those living in such conditions because I myself have passed through the same rigours.”
Attacking Mr. Gandhi, he said there was no need for him to undertake a yatra to understand the pains and hardship of the poor.
“My mother did the utensils at the neighbour’s house and collected water. But she had never allowed helplessness to affect her in her mission to raise her children. Pessimism can never affect the man who has lived such a life.”
Mr. Modi said that when he reflected on his life and found the people lifting a tea seller on their shoulders, he could not but exclaim the greatness of the country and its people. His life was an inspiration for him to work and use the opportunities God had given him for bettering the lot of the poor.
Mr. Modi said the Lok Sabha elections were not dictated by mathematical permutations and combinations or the compulsions of vote bank or the domination of a family, but were based on the issues of development. The pressure had to be not just on the BJP but on all other parties. The objective should not be to grab power but deliver governance.
He accused the UPA government of formulating policies that encouraged smuggling, citing curbs on gold imports and tax breaks for slaughterhouses and transport of mutton.
Referring to the conditions laid down by Baba Ramdev, Mr. Modi said there was a solution to all problems, and a path would be found and results obtained.
Yoga guru says he will send his followers to each home across the country to canvass support for the BJP