Baba Ramdev launched a blistering counter attack after the Congress party attacked him personally, questioning the source of his funds for setting up the tent and other facilities.
“They are trying to scare me. I am not afraid of anyone, I am not afraid of death.. If I were, I would not have set up this program in Ramlila maidan,” he said.
When asked who, he said he will reveal the details if the government does not budge from its position and the agitation is not fruitful.
“I shall answer those who attack me like this, because no power can prevent me from doing so,” he said. “I will not attack anyone, but if someone attacks me, I shall respond,” he said to widespread applause.
He mentioned that some called him an RSS agent. “I am an agent of 121 crore people, I am an agent of the farmers,” he said, pointing out that there were many Muslims among the agitators on the grounds.
He also dismissed those who called him a trouble-maker and anarchist. “I challenge them to bring out a single word that may be construed as causing instability,” he challenged the Congress party.
He pointed out that unlike the politicians who sow seeds of division among different communities to get votes, he has done his best to promote understanding between the different sects and religions.
“I have not sown the seeds of division among Hindus and Muslims.. I have considered the entire country my own. Swami Ramdev does not spread instability, people who accuse me of so have questionable intentions,” he said.
He countered Congress’ allegation that he is being remote-controlled by the opposition BJP or its parent RSS. “There is no script-writer, no director.. God is my only director, my soul is my own director,” he said. “All these people who are sitting here, investigate them,” he said, when asked about RSS support, leading to a round of loud applause.
He pointed out that he did not covet any political position and will never take up any such positions of power. “This is democracy.. what the people want, the government must do… The government is not there to enjoy the fruits of power,” he reminded the government.
“I am just an ascetic.. the World bows before me, I bow before you [government..] Is it wrong to talk of the Nation’s interest,” he asked, responding clearly to attempts to intimidate him.
When prompted by reporters, he refused to attack his detractors in the Congress party. “I will not comment on anyone else. I have spelt out my intentions and demands. Baba will not raise his hands against anyone, if he does, it is only to extend his support,” he said.
He also pointed out that he is not an anti-development Luddite as made out to be by his enemies. “We need science and technology.. but all this when we are standing on our own culture and civilization, not by sacrificing our self-pride. What is wrong in this,” he asked.
He pointed out that he was an advocate of Indian culture, not communalism. He mocked the charge that the cloth tents amounted to “five star” facilities, leveled by Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi.
Ramdev pointed out that despite having a capacity of around 40,000 people, nearly half of the people sitting on either sides were sitting in direct sunlight, outside the tent.
“Should I have let these people sit out in the sun in this temperature of 40-50 degree celcius,” he asked.
“Nearly all of the money spent on this pandal has been obtained from people.. people who are here,” he said, adding that people are ready to lay down their lives for Baba.
He also said that full details of the expenses and income involved in the agitation will be disclosed before the tents are taken down.
Baba Ramdev said that he is willing to temporarily set aside his demand for a ban on high value currency notes if the Government agrees to three conditions.
Baba Ramdev has offered to withdraw his agitation if the government declares the illicit money stashed by Indians in foreign bank accounts as a national asset.
“They have indicated verbal agreement. If they are willing to accept this demand, we will withdraw the agitation,” he said.
The Baba is leading a campaign to force the government to act against illicit funds, gained through corruption and non-payment of taxes.
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