4.57 pm Promising to ‘sacrifice everything’ for the nation, Anna Hazare said that 6 ministers were forced to resign after his agitation in Maharashtra. He also said that 400 bureaucrats resigned after the launch of his campaign.
Hazare, who is on a one-day fast with yoga guru Baba Ramdev, said change was necessary and possible. “And with Baba Ramdev now joining us, we have become more powerful,” he said. He said that there is no rift between Team Anna and Ramdev.
Ramdev said the fight against graft was not against individuals. “Arvind Kejriwal should not have taken names. It could create controversy. Please don’t see it as personal attack. This fight is not against any individual,” Ramdev said. Arvind Kejriwal has said that Parliament would never pass the Lokpal bill as long as MPs like Lalu Prasad, A Raja and Suresh Kalmadi were present.
2.00pm Former Karnataka Lokyukta Justice Santosh Hegde joins Anna, Baba Ramdev’s fast, reaches the protest venue in Bangalore.
Earlier, differences appeared in Team Anna with Justice Hegde distancing himself from corruption allegations against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other ministers even as the group sought to play down Anna Hazare’s reservations on the issue.
12.30pm A “disgruntled” volunteer of Team Anna attempted self-immolation at the fast site of Anna Hazare and yoga guru Ramdev alleging that he was mistreated by prominent members of India Against Corruption.
The youth started speaking through his megaphone demanding that he be heard by both Hazare and Ramdev but was prevented by Ramdev’s volunteers.
He then pulled out a bottle of a kerosene and poured on him. While he took a lighter to set himself on fire, the volunteers and some media persons snatched the lighter from him.
11.55 am Ramdev continues tirade against government, says Finance minister needs to answer questions about why India’s growth rate is declining.
11.00 am: Ramdev shows an odd-admiration for the Naxalite path. “Though we can have a debate on the ways taken by Naxalites, their struggle is justified. If black money was not stashed abroad, India’s economy would have been as good as that of the US and China.”
New Delhi: 10.45 am Ramdev continues his tirade against black money. Says that the time is ripe for a full-fledged public debate on the crucial issue.
“We should discuss how and when black money will be brought back. Political parties don’t want Lokpal because all their leaders will be behind bars,” says Ramdev.
Ramdev also said that he was victim of the government’s vicious attacks. “Government tried its level best to harass and defame people associated with me and Anna Hazare. But the government could not succeed.”
10.30 am Baba Ramdev takes to the mike at the protest. Firstpost‘s Danish Raza reports from Jantar Mantar, New Delhi that Ramdev is now speaking against corruption and the UPA government.
Ramdev takes a shot at the Prime Minister. The yoga guru says, “Prime minister is honest as an individual, but he needs to be politically and constitutionally honest too. And he should work to make honest his cabinet. Only then the nation will salute him.”
Ramdev stresses on the need to bring back black money. “Once black money is back in India, Lokpal will make sure that no money goes to foreign banks.”
10.00 am Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare have arrived at Jantar Mantar and the fast has begun. Around 2500 people have gathered at the venue to join the one day fast against corruption and black money. 500 policemen and 20 battalions of CRPF are guarding the fast venue.
9.24 am: Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare have reached Raj Ghat to pay his respects before he begins fasting. Before starting his agitation, Ramdev spoke to reporters, saying, that if the government didn’t bring back black money stashed abroad, he would continue the fight till August.
“We need to bring back black money. I appeal to people of the country to join this fight. We are intensifying this fight. From today, we are intensifying our protest to bring back black money stashed abroad and want all of the countrymen to be part of the fight to finish by August,” he said
Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare wil begin their one day fast against corruption in Jantar Mantar, New Delhi today.
The temperature might be soaring but that has not deterred crowds from turning up at the protest venue. Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev have organised the one day fast to refocus attention on the UPA government’s failure to initiate meaningful action against corruption and the hoard of black money.