‘Optimist’ Modi gets Ramdev’s support for Lok Sabha polls (Roundup)

New Delhi, Jan 5: Calling himself a thorough optimist, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Sunday said the word “disappointment” is not in his dictionary.

He was speaking as the chief guest at the foundation day celebrations of yoga guru Ramdev’s Bharat Swabhiman Trust in New Delhi’s Talkatora Stadium. Ramdev later announced his support for the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections and Modi as the prime minister.

“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,” he said.

“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.

Also present at the event were senior party leaders Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh, who too took on the Congress.

Jaitley, leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, 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”.

Meanwhile, Ramdev raised three main points in his address – bringing back black money stashed abroad, 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 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 said.

Ramdev was initially a supporter of Anna Hazare’s India Against Corruption campaign, which split later with Arvind Kejriwal forming the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

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

IANS