The nationwide rally against corruption to be held on June 3 under the leadership of Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare is set to wade into politics with Babas supporters in Ahmedabad planning to gather at a farmhouse belonging to C K Patel,a California-based hotelier and a BJP member who had admittedly lobbied hard for a US visa for Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
While Ramdev and Anna will be at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on June 3,around 50,000 people in Ahmedabad are expected to take part in the Bharat Swabhimaan Andolan to be held at one of Patels many farmhouses at Gota.
Patel claims he was approached by the Ramdev camp for the farmhouse and readily agreed. I have also attended a meet held by Ramdev supporters about the arrangements to made for the gathering, said Patel,who is also the president of the NFIA (National Federation of Indian American Association).
Patel had contested the 2007 Assembly elections from Sabarkantha on a Congress ticket but lost. He later joined the BJP.
According to Patel,he had given a speech at the annual White House dinner last year arguing for a US visa for Modi.
He was present in one of our meets and agreed to give us his farmhouse for the gathering. He is currently not politically active. Hence,we decided to go ahead with him. It is difficult to find anyone above 18 years of age in this country who has not voted for any party. So,we are not siding with any party, says Sonika Rajput,president of Gujarat chapter of Bharat Andolan Trust (BAT).
The Congress,however,termed the planned rally as an extravaganza.
Since he has raised the issue of black money,Baba Ramdev should also talk about the extortion by the state BJP in the name of Dhan Sangraha before elections. Also,he should focus on how four auto companies set up shops here to corner incentives worth crores of rupees doled out by the state government, said state Congress president Arjun Modwadhia.