- Baba Ramdev said price rise will "cost the government dearly"
- If given a chance, he said he could sell petrol, diesel for half the cost
- He also said he would not campaign for BJP in 2019's general elections
Yoga Guru Ramdev on Sunday sounded a warning for the Narendra Modi government, saying unless the price rise is controlled, "it is going to cost the government dearly". The yoga teacher also said he would not campaign for the BJP in next year's general elections. Also, given a chance, he could sell petrol and diesel for half the price it is available now, he added.
Ramdev had supported the BJP's national election campaign in 2015. A year later, he was named Haryana's brand ambassador and then granted cabinet minister rank. He was allotted a car with a beacon, security personnel and an escort vehicle whenever he visited the state.
On Sunday, asked if he would campaign for the BJP, Ramdev shot back, "why would I?"
The 52-year-old admitted that he has lately distanced himself from politics. "I have withdrawn myself politically. I am with all parties and I am with no parties," added the yoga teacher, who was participating in NDTV Yuva, a special youth conclave featuring celebrities, leaders and influencers.
Without going into the reasons, Ramdev said it was people's "fundamental right" to criticize PM Modi. He, however, said the Prime Minister has "done good work... launched the Clean India mission, not allowed any major scam".
The government should apply Goods and Services Tax to fuel - he said, echoing what has been a demand from the opposition and a section of the industry. But the tax slab, he said, cannot be set at the highest, 28 per cent. "The revenue lost will not stop the country. We can impose taxes on the rich," he said.
Asked if the creator of Patanjali Ayurved would like to bring cheap petrol to the people, he said, "If the government lets me, and gives some relief in tax, I can give petrol diesel to India at Rs 35-40 per litre".