Baba Ramdev begins protest at Ramlila Maidan

Yoga guru Swami Ramdev has launched another agitation at New Delhi’s Ramlila Ground pressing the Centre to ensure probity in the government and bring back the blackmoney stashed in the foreign banks.

The agitation is being carried out under the banner of Bharat Swabhiman, a movement launched by the yoga guru to root out corruption from the country.

The fresh agitation comes 14 months after the last year’s police crackdown at the same venue against yoga guru and his supporter when they were holding hunger strike against the Centre over the same issue.

“I am here to pay my respect to the sacrifice made by Mahatama Gandhi. I am paying my respect to Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and 7,00,000 other martyrs whose sacrifice has sadly been compromised because of corruption and black money,” Ramdev said.

The second indefinite protest, announced in June this year, also will be keenly watched as it comes a week after Anna Hazare called off his fast, disbanded his team which has decided to take a political plunge.

On his part, Ramdev has said he has no political agenda and the second phase of his protest will be announced if the government does not agree to his demands on blackmoney, Lokpal Bill, appointment procedures and making CBI independent.

“All we are demanding is constitution of a strong Lokpal to end corruption. Lokpal alone cannot eradicate corruption but it is required to punish the corrupt.

“Besides, the process of appointing heads of CBI, CVC, CAG and CEC should be streamlined and no political influence allowed in it. If this is done, 90 percent corruption will be checked,” Ramdev had said on Tuesday.

Hazare, who had earlier announced that he would join Ramdev at his protest, is unlikely to be present at the venue on Thursday with one of his close aides saying that “as of now there are no plans” to come to Delhi soon.

Ramdev said people from across the country will reach Delhi to participate in the August 9 stir.

Ramdev’s earlier agitation at Ramlila ground

Ramdev’s previous protest in Ramlila Maidan from June four last year ended in a midnight police crackdown on June 6 morning with authorities claiming that he violated the norms agreed upon. He was caught by police while trying to flee from the venue in woman’s attire.

Ahead of his August 9 protest at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi, yoga guru Ramdev on Sunday said he has written to the Prime Minister and the Home Minister appealing them not to “interfere” in his proposed stir.

(JPN/Agencies)

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