The Congress on Saturday observed the fourth anniversary of the Centre’s Narendra Modi government as ‘Vishwasghat (treachery day).’ The party highlighted, among other things, the central government’s inability to check the rising fuel prices including that of LPG gas.
The party sought to remind the BJP how it had fought the 2014 elections promising to bring down the prices of petrol, diesel and LPG gas. Four years later, the prices of these three petroleum products have reached a record high even when crude oil in the international market is being sold at relatively cheaper rate than what was being sold prior to May 2014.
Among those who actively sought votes for the BJP by demonising the Congress-led UPA, blaming it for the rise in fuel prices, was self-proclaimed guru, Ramdev. There were also allegations that Ramdev had even funded the BJP’s campaign. This was after a BJP candidate was seen asking for money during an election rally. The BJP candidate’s conversation with Ramdev was recorded by a stringer camera.
Now, another old video of Ramdev campaigning from a TV studio in favour of BJP has gone viral. In the video, recorded as part of India TV’s Aap Ki Adalat show, Ramdev is seen addressing the audience members while asking them to choose between a party, which was selling petrol at Rs 80 a litre (read Congress) and a party, which promises to sell petrol at Rs 35 per litre. He then goes on to say, “Ok children, please tell me. Do you want petrol for Rs 75-80 per litre or Rs 35 per litre? So, will you vote for those who can get you petrol for Rs 35 per litre or those who are making you buy petrol for Rs 75-80 per litre?
When the show’s host seeks to grill him for making fanciful claims about India’s future, Ramdev shuts him up by claiming to be an economist. “Are itna arthshastra to ham ne bhi padh rakha hai Rajat ji,” he concludes causing a huge laughter among the audience.
Ramdev’s empire in the shape of Patanjali took off exponentially after the BJP formed the government at the Centre and other states. Successive BJP governments were accused of giving Ramdev thousands of acres of land at throwaway prices because of his association with the BJP and the RSS.
He was recently peeved after Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seized 50 tonnes sandalwood being exported to China by Patanjali. The company later challenged the seizure in Delhi High Court, which will hear the case in July next.
Recently, the Patanjali boss and Ramdev’s associate, Balkrishna, had blamed the Modi government’s demonetisation announcement for the company’s growth to come to an unexpected halt.