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Digvijay slush cash poser for Ramdev

Lucknow, Feb. 21: Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh today said in Kanpur that Baba Ramdev should prove that he does not possess black money before launching a movement on the issue.

“He should face a probe and come out clean on whether he possesses black money,” Digvijay said.

The Congress leader’s remark on Ramdev coincided with a statement in Parliament today by President Pratibha Patil that the UPA government would “tackle the menace of black money frontally”.

Ramdev has recently positioned himself as a crusader against black money.

Digvijay said everyone, including Ramdev, should come under the scanner on the issue of black money.

What might have caught Digvijay’s eye is the expanding network of Ramdev’s ashrams. Besides a sprawling property 10km from Hardwar, ashrams have come up near the Aravalli Hills in Haryana and also in Scotland.

Ramdev has said he wants to make the world’s largest centre for ayurveda and yoga with facilities for treatment, research and teaching.

Ramdev recently acquired a Scottish isle for around £2 million to set up a health retreat. The Little Cumbrae Island, off the fishing town of Largs in Scotland, is to serve as his base overseas. The acquisition had been carried out by a Scottish couple of Indian origin, Sam and Sunita Poddar, in September 2009.

The island is administered by Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth (UK) Trust.

Ramdev had recently announced that he would launch a political party and its battle cry for the party would be against black money and corruption.

Digvijay’s attack prodded the BJP to back Ramdev. Uttar Pradesh BJP legislative party chief Om Prakash Singh said: “If Digvijay Singh has any proof against Ramdev, he should come out with it. Singh has been making false accusations against everyone.”

In Hardwar, where Ramdev is based, his followers were angry.

Acharya Balkrishna, a spokesperson for Ramdev, said: “Baba is ready to face any probe. His life is an open book. The Congress government had carried out secret probe against Baba Ramdev earlier. But it failed to level any charge. Now Digvijay Singh is trying again.”

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