Raipur (Chhattisgarh), May 1 (ANI): Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev began the third phase of his nationwide tour on Tuesday from Raipur, Chhattisgarh, to fight corruption in public life and unearth unaccounted money stashed to off shore banks.
In June 2011, Baba Ramdev and thousands of his followers had staged a mass hunger strike in New Delhi to demand reforms, including the awarding of the death penalty for corrupt officials. Dozens were injured when the government sent a phalanx of police in with batons and tear gas to break up their peaceful protest.
Lashing out at the government for misappropriating trillions of national wealth, Baba Ramdev said his tour was part of the struggle of the common man to combat graft.
"This is the third phase of Bharat Swabhiman Yatra (tour to protect India"s integrity). We vow to start the Yatra (Tour) on the Labour Day, as this is the struggle of the common man. The important aspect of our struggle is to protect the natural resources, which are worth 20,000 lakh crores rupees (200 trillion). Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa are main centres of natural resources," said Ramdev.
He blamed the Congress party for looting the country and exploiting natural resources of the tribal area.
"We have to fight for the rights of the tribals and I support it. It is because large amount of wealth is hidden below the land which belongs to the tribals and it includes iron, coal, gold and silver, diamond. The country has been looted by committing corporate crime. Our struggle is against this corporate and political crime. But we are fighting in a democratic way," he added.
The world"s largest democracy has the dubious distinction of having the largest number of legislators with a criminal record and some state governments are brazenly admitting notorious individuals into the party-fold for electoral considerations.
Muscle and money power now dominate Indian politics and this is the trend that team of anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare had sought to quarantine by seeking a Lokpal legislation - a kind of citizen"s ombudsman bill.
Baba Ramdev asserted that India"s anti-graft campaign brought millions of people onto the streets and they would teach a lesson to the corrupt officials.
"If we talk about black money, corruption or changing the various corrupt systems, the governments have stooped to low levels and that is why we have taken the assistance of the people and they will teach them a lesson," Ramdev further stated.
Reportedly, before heading to Delhi to join the protest with Hazare, he would also visit Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
A series of high-profile scandals has eroded trust and stymied policymaking in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh"s administration in recent months.
Petty corruption is a fact of life for hundreds of millions of Indians who need to pay bribes for anything from a passport to a gas connection, but a string of billion-dollar scandals has sparked widespread anger against the government.
The Congress party has come under fire for what activists say is a cynical response to mass anti-graft movements that sprouted this year. The government says the protests were undemocratic and should not be allowed to dictate policy.
The corruption saga has dented investor confidence and smothered reforms such as on land acquisition that could help maintain the momentum of one of the world"s fastest-growing economies, which has showed signs of slowdown. (ANI)
Read More: Anna Hazare | Baba Ramdev | Raipur Jattan | Raipur Rani | Ladana Baba | Raipur Kalan | Baba Bakala | Dera Baba Nanak So | Raipur Rasulpur | Raipur Dhaba | Raipur Arryan | Raipur Pir Bux Wala Dso | Aghar Baba Jitto | Dera Baba Banda | Baba Ka Gaon | Raipur Deo Singh | Baba Mohtara | Uttar Raipur Edso | Raipur Buzurg | Chhattisgarh
SwapnilMay 2, 2012 at 9:16 AM