Baba Ramdev supports Narendra Modi: Major vote chunk secured?

Baba Ramdev is sure a threat to Congress which baton charged his followers at night. His hard core followers, which is a huge population and which possibly have been voting for AAP, may shift towards BJP now.

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev has a huge fan following. And these followers are loyal to him by their core which was pretty much evident during his Ramlila ground agitation for bringing back black money.

He poses a great threat to Congress which was so scared during this agitation that it baton charged sleeping people at his agitation venue at night. The wounds of that brutality by the government have not healed completely.

Not only Congress, he is a threat to any party which is not seen in good light by him because his loyal supporters, who have seen the healing magic of yoga through him, follow him everywhere.

Ramdev has always been a supporter of good governance and clean politics. He had supported Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal in their anti-corruption movement. The AamAadmi Party has always been in his good books. It was even rumoured that he will join AAP. But on Sunday he made clear his intentions.

At the foundation day celebrations of his Bharat Swabhiman Trust in New Delhi’s Talkatora Stadium, he invited Bhartiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as his chief guest. Party president Rajnath Singh and leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley were also present in the packed stadium. There, he announced his support for the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections and endorsed Modi for the prime ministership.

He raised three main points in his address – bringing back black money stashed abroad, which is an old agenda of his; abolishing all direct and indirect taxes and bringing a single ‘banking transaction tax’ and promotion of Indian culture and languages, apart from other issues.

Modi, in his address said, “The word disappointment is not there in my dictionary. I have seen my mother work in homes to bring us up. I never saw her being pessimistic.”

“When senseless allegations are levelled against me, I feel people are so great to have lifted a tea seller so high,” said Modi.

Taking a jibe at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi without naming him, Modi said: “A person who has lived in such acute poverty does not need to undertake tours to understand people’s pain.”

He also said the 2014 Lok Sabha polls will be a movement in itself.

“This will be the first election since Independence which will destroy all traditions. Usually polls are fought by political parties and candidates. This is the first time elections are becoming a people’s movement in itself and political parties are being forced to fight on the agenda of development,” he said.

Jaitley targeted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s comments on a “breakthrough” with Pakistan, saying such a development would go against India’s dignity.

“The prime minister said there was almost an agreement on Kashmir. When Pervez Musharraf (former president of Pakistan) said this, we did not believe him … but now the prime minister has said, so Kashmir does not belong to any one party, they cannot reach a conclusion without consulting all parties. After a meeting in New Delhi in 2005, India and Pakistan, in a joint statement, had said the peace process between the two countries was irreversible.”

Later on, Modi promised his party was working on all the suggestions made by the yoga guru.

“The present taxation system is a burden on the common man and new reforms are needed. The BJP has been agitating against black money for long and we will bring it back when we come to power. Our children should feel proud of their language and culture and only then will they be able to face the world with their heads held high,” said Modi.

“The BJP is working diligently on all the issues raised by ‘swamiji’ (Ramdev) and the suggestions,” he added.

Following Modi’s assurance, Ramdev announced his support for the party.

“I had two options in front of me, ‘Modiji’, and the ‘shahzada’ who has not done anything for the country,” Ramdev said, referring to Rahul Gandhi. “I know ‘Modiji’ has the will to take on the corrupt Congress,” he added.

The yoga guru, however, refused to speak on the AAP and said he will “not talk about third or fourth options here”.

Congress is already damaged – with or without anybody’s support to BJP. But the rise of AAP has dented BJP’s big vote share. Now it will be a matter to see as to how much damage AAP suffers if Baba Ramdev’s followers, which is huge population, tilt towards BJP.

-with inputs from IANS

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