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Baba to go on fast; talks fail
Published on 4 Jun. 2011 12:26 AM IST
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Yoga guru Baba Ramdev Friday declared he was going ahead with his hunger strike against corruption from Saturday after the government’s attempt to persuade him to call it off failed in spite of over four hours of talks between him and two union ministers. The announcement came after his meeting with union ministers Kapil Sibal and Subodh Kant Sahay.
“From all over the country, men and women have come here to ensure that black money stashed abroad comes back,” Ramdev declared at the Ramlila Ground where he would begin his hunger strike.
“A few corrupt people have given a bad name to this country. We have to do something about it. We are not against any political party or against any individual. We are not here to revolt,” he added. “We want to put our demand democratically. Till the time our demands are not met, we will continue our protest,” Ramdev said as hundreds of people cheered him.
“Government has verbally agreed to my demand of bringing back black money but I want an ordnance. The talks were positive but many more issues are to be sorted out,” he said.
“We are not here to see Ramlila, but to end corrupt Ravan,” said Ramdev.
“We are not here to indulge in violence. But if government tries to crush us, then the result will not be good.”
He also said that rumors were afloat that he had been bought over by the government, but this was not true. “No one can buy me,” he asserted, adding: “We are here to do something.”
Talks were held in the upscale Claridges Hotel from 2 p.m. This was the second round of talks between government and the yoga guru. The first round was held Wednesday.
Sources said the hotel was selected as a “neutral venue”.
Ramlila Maidan all decked up for Baba
2.5 lakh square ft tent ready at Ramlila Maidan for lakhs of Baba Ramdev’s supporters to join the proposed fast-unto-death from Saturday.
The ground has been booked for a month long Yoga workshop
More than 5,000 ceiling fans and coolers, 1,300 toilets and bathrooms have been installed
An 8 ft long stage has been set up
Large screens alongside the stage have also been installed.
The sitting area divided into three parts-- one for those who will sit for fast for a single day, one for those who will sit for the entire duration and one more for daily visitors.
Drinking water, medical facilities will be provided to participants.
RO installed for water purification system. 650 water taps installed
Around 50- 60 doctors will be available here throughout the day.
30-40 close circuit cameras to be installed on the main ground, as well as n entry and exit points.
Digvijay says RSS behind
Baba Ramdev’s fast
Stepping up his attack on Baba Ramdev, Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh on Friday alleged that RSS was behind the yoga guru’s indefinite fast beginning on Saturday.
“Right from putting up the pandal to organise the meetings, everywhere there is RSS,” he told reporters.
Frowning upon the protest action by the Baba, Singh agreed with a questioner that the Yoga guru was playing politics. “If you want to teach yoga, I have no problem ,but if you want to do politics, then join the fray”.
Nervously, BJP hitches
wagon to Ramdev
Because Baba Ramdev is taking on the government over corruption, he has been praised and backed by the Opposition BJP. The yoga icon has always been close to the BJP’s parent body, the RSS.
And as he gets ready to launch his indefinite hunger strike, the RSS has ordered its workers to join in.
What the Baba wants is for the government to recover the crores of black money that Indians have channeled into foreign bank accounts. “We back him on the black money issue,” said BJP’s Ravi Shankar Prasad. The message is clear - the BJP’s support is not unconditional.
The problem is that if lakhs of supporters are expected to join the Baba’s fast, it would mean the BJP would no longer be the loudest voice against corruption within the government.
Medha scoffs at Ramdev
“Such expensive agitations show a different face of protest. We are also against corruption, but such an expensive spending crores,” Patkar said, talking to PTI.
The corproratisation of economic policy has led to the black money, Patkar said. She cautioned that there was a danger of Ramdev’s agitation turning into a mere mass gathering.
Politically motivated: SRK
I will not support him...he’s got an soon as one becomes a politician, he resorts to such agitations),” the actor had reportedly said earlier in the day when he was in Indore.

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