New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) The issue of black money echoed both inside as well as outside parliament Monday with the BJP and Janata Dal-United supporting yoga guru Baba Ramdev's anti-corruption agitation while Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party backed moves aimed at tackling illegal wealth.
Bharatiya Janata Party chief Nitin Gadkari and JD-U leader Sharad Yadav joined Ramdev Monday morning at Ramlila ground to express solidarity with his anti-corruption agitation.
However, the Congress hit out at the yoga guru accusing him of fighting a political battle in the name of fighting corruption.
The yoga guru was later in the day detained by police when he led protestors towards parliament.
The issue of black money rocked both houses of parliament.
The Lok Sabha was adjourned for 45 minutes during question hour after BJP members demanded that black money stashed abroad be brought back.
They created a ruckus and forced Speaker Meira Kumar to adjourn the house.
In the Rajya Sabha, the issue of black money was raised during zero hour by BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu.
The opposition asked the government to give a time limit for bringing back money from foreign banks. However, the government insisted on making comments in a detailed discussion later.
The house was adjourned amidst noisy protests, first for 10 minutes, and then till 2 p.m.
Backing Ramdev's agitation indirectly, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said his party would support anyone who would raise voice against black money stashed in foreign banks.
"We have been demanding to bring back black money for quite some time. We will support anyone who will talk about it," Mulayam Singh told reporters outside parliament.
BSP chief Mayawati said that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government should take all political parties on board and form a strategy to bring back black money stashed in banks abroad.
"It is a serious matter and efforts should be made to bring back black money. The government should take all political parties on board on the issue," Mayawati told reporters outside parliament.
In his speech at the Ramlila Maidan, Gadkai said his party did not expect political backing from the yoga guru and would actively support his protest.
"Ramdev's agitation should not be seen from political lenses and the BJP doesn't expect any political support from him. We will actively support his agitation against corruption and black money," he said.
Another party leader Ravishankar Prasad said the BJP has been raising the issue of black money for the past two years.
Prasad said BJP was a national party and need not become a part of any agitation. "It is the commonality of issue of black money for which we have extended moral support to Baba Ramdev".
Speaking to reporters in Patna, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said that any citizen of the country had the right to campaign against corruption.
He accused the UPA government of inconsistency in its stance towards the yoga guru.
However, Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi accused Ramdev of fighting a "political battle" in the name of bringing back black money from abroad.
He said the UPA government had taken several steps to unearth black money and alleged that efforts were being made to save people who had illegal wealth in the country.
Referring to Gadkari's visit to the venue of Ramdev's agitation, he said the masks had come off from his anti-corruption agitation.
"The real faces have been revealed to the people... the kind of fight they are leading is clear now," Dwivedi said.
According to Minister of state for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla, the government has brought a white paper on black money and has been working to bring back illegal wealth which is to the tune of Rs.48,000 crore.
"They (the BJP) did not bring it back (during NDA rule) and are now questioning the (UPA) government," Shukla said.