Baba in Delhi: Attacks govt, meets injured Raj Bala
Ramdev said he would continue his fight against corruption alongside "anybody from any party, any religion" willing to fight the menace but he did not make it clear whether he would join Anna Hazare on August 16 when the latter relaunches his campaign for a strong Lokpal.
Holding that he was "not a mask" for BJP or RSS, he asked why Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote a letter to him and four ministers, including Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, drove to airport to meet him "if I was communal or a naxal or a terrorist".
"Government does not want to create a Lokpal," he said addressing a press conference here after meeting Raj Bala, who was grievously injured in the June five pre-dawn police crackdown at Ramlila Maidan on his supporters, at a hospital and dared the government to "search" his institutions for blackmoney and declare it as national asset.
"Sarkar pehle bhrashtachari thi, abh woh atyachari bhi ho gayi. (The government was indulging in corruption earlier.
Now it is indulging in atrocities)," he said, adding, "This government has no will to fight corruption."
The yoga guru alleged that the government was muzzling voices of those who talk about black money or tell the truth.
Terming the crackdown in Ramlila Maidan as "murder of democracy", he alleged it was aimed at eliminating him and that there were "attempts to rape women" by drunk men during the police action.
However, Ramdev did not throw any light on his next move as part of his anti-corruption campaign. He said he would launch a free housing scheme in Haridwar on July one followed by another programme on August four for empowering villages.
Ramdev reached the capital from Haridwar by road this afternoon and straight away headed to G B Pant Hospital in central Delhi to visit Raj Bala.
Police had erected barricades along the border to screen those entering the capital and ensure that no untoward incident occurred during Ramdev`s visit to the capital.
Earlier, police had said he was not allowed to enter the capital for 15 days but later retracted from it.
On government criticism, Ramdev said, "If raising the issue of black money was wrong, if I was communal, if I was a Naxal, if I was a terrorist, why did four ministers rush to the airport? Why did the Prime Minister write to me?
"My fault was that I was talking about empowering villages by eradicating corruption," he said, adding, "The government can use all its force to detect if I have any blackmoney.
"If you find anything from Re one or Rs one lakh crore, seize it and declare it as national asset," he said.
He said, "As the government could not get back the black money from abroad so they can now swoop on me and find out rather than making false statements against me."
Asked about Hazare, he said the issue was not Hazare or Ramdev but corruption. He said he would support anybody in the fight against corruption and accused the government of having no will to enact a strong Lokpal.
"I am not a mask for anyone but the mask of 120 crore people. I am the son of Bharat Mata," he said, adding, "We will stand with anyone, any party, any religion, any cat…
but the cat has to catch the rat."
On the Lokpal issue, he questioned the logic of excluding the Prime Minister and MPs while bringing trusts and NGOs under the ambit of an anti-corruption ombudsman.
On his attempt to escape from Ramlila Maidan disguised as a woman, Ramdev said he did not flee and claimed that had he offered arrest but the police did not carry it out. "I wanted them to arrest me. I waited but nobody came.
"There was threat to my life. They (police) wanted to kill me during the crackdown," he said, maintaining, "Woh logon ko hatana aur muche mitana chahta the. (Police wanted to evacuate people and eliminate me)." He alleged that attempts were made to set the dais on fire.
"I did not want to die the death of a wolf, I did not want to die the death of an animal, I did not want to die at the hands of police which has become the puppet of the government. So I decided to escape. I was arrested outside and if I was caught inside, I would not have been seen again," Ramdev said.
He also sought to pooh-pooh police theory of intelligence inputs about terrorist threat to him, saying that he had travelled one lakh kilometre in the past one year and met ten crore people. "There was no threat to me then, how come it is there now?"
On questions about his hunger strike, Ramdev said he ended the fast on the advice of spiritual leaders Morari Bapu and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who told him that the condition of a large number of women and children who were fasting with him had worsened.
He also asked political parties to make public their account books like he did of the Trust he is heading, besides demanding that call records of conversation Kapil Sibal had with him be released.
A large number police personnel were present at the hospital and the press conference hall.
Ramdev said he had come to Delhi on the 36th anniversary of the imposition of Emergency and that the situation "was very much similar to Emergency".
"Police did not come to arrest me, they wanted to kill me," he said, adding, he would not make public any evidence in this regard as the case is pending with the Supreme Court.
He said that police attacked his supporters when they tried to extinguish the fire which started on the stage.
"The attempt to set the stage on fire was again an attempt to kill me. They attacked my supporters who were trying to extinguish the fire," he said.
Delhi Police has in an FIR on the Ramlila Maidan incident, cited "provocative" speeches made by religious and political leaders, including Ramdev and Sadhvi Ritambara, as the main reason for canceling permission for the yoga guru`s protest at Ramlila Maidan here.