Jul 172012

NAGPUR: Yoga guru-turned-social activist Baba Ramdev believes that the country’s sagging economy would not need any foreign direct investment (FDI) if black money deposited in foreign banks is brought back. Ramdev was in the city on Monday as part of a countrywide tour to gather support for his agitation starting on August 9 in the capital.

“Our agitation is for bringing back black money stashed abroad, for having a strong Lokpal bill and also to help people at large develop a strong character that is needed for an overall change in the system. US President Barack Obama has been advocating FDI in India but our economic condition is certainly not his business. FDI will only help American companies and sadly even our prime minister sometimes speaks like a CEO of such companies,” said Ramdev.

The August agitation will be led by Ramdev’s organization Bharat Swabhiman and will be supported fully by Team Anna as well. Reminded of the fiasco after his last agitation, Ramdev said, “I am sure something will happen this time too, but now we are prepared. I cannot share with you the details about our preparation as it will defeat the entire purpose. The agitation will start on August 9 and we have not decided the ending date for it.”

After arriving in Nagpur on Monday the yoga guru visited Deekshabhoomi and later headed for a meeting with his organizations’ members. “I met with members from 18 districts of Maharashtra today and shared with them our plans and took feedback as well. Members of India Against Corruption and other organizations too joined us and we have been guaranteed support of a lakh people from the state for the agitation,” Ramdev added.

He will meet with the remaining district members of his organization on Tuesday at Pune, where a special meeting with Gandhian Anna Hazare too is scheduled. In their last agitation together there were reports of friction between Arvind Kejriwal and Ramdev. “I am grateful to Anna for lending his support to the agitation and I can assure you that there is no conflict between us and any member of his team. Kejriwal does not harbour any resentment, in fact, we are looking forward to working together,” said Ramdev.

The guru refused to comment on whether or not he will contest the 2014 general elections, saying future strategy will be decided once the August agitation starts. “It is for the people to decide what role Bharat Swabhiman will play and I am sure they will certainly give us good feedback during the agitation,” said Ramdev.


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