New Delhi: Anti-graft activist and self-styled spiritual leader Ramdev is on a mission to build support for his campaign to bring back billions of rupees stashed in overseas tax havens by wealthy Indians.
Ramdev has met political leaders cutting across party lines and many of them have shown interest, including BJP president Nitin Gadkari who even bent down to touch the feet of the yoga teacher when he called on him at his office, swaddled in his trademark saffron robe.
Ramdev has met UPA allies such as Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar and Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav for support. He said he will meet Chief Ministers Naveen Patnaik and Mamata Banerjee and former Uttar Pradesh CM Mayawati. Ramdev said he is trying to unite all political parties to reach a consensus on the issue of black money.
Ramdev is on a mission to build support for his campaign to bring back money stashed in foreign accounts.
Mulayam extended support to Ramdev in his campaign on the issue of black money, saying till it is brought back, the poor won't benefit. BJP veteran Jaswant Singh also reached Yadav's residence. Singh had raised the issue on behalf of the BJP in the Lok Sabha.
Yadav said Ramdev's "struggle" will be successful. "Till the time black money is not brought back, the poor won’t benefit. It also leads to corruption...the war had weakened. But I am happy that Ramdev has relaunched it," Yadav said.
Former Army Chief General VK Singh said he supported the issues raised by Anna Hazare and Ramdev but has not yet decided on joining the anti-graft activists. Ramdev has also met Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief and Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh.
He has held discussions with JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, Parkash Singh Badal (SAD) and Chandrababu Naidu (TDP).
Vowing to meet village council representatives to build consensus on the issue, Ramdev said he had also sought a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
Chandrababu Naidu, while extending 'full support' to Ramdev, said he wanted him to network with all concerned including industrialists in the fight against corruption and black money. He said he would take part in the proposed agitation in New Delhi on August 9 "if invited". (Inputs from agencies)