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Ramdev all set to return to Ramlila maidan tomorrow

August 08, 2012 13:01 IST
Fourteen months after he was bundled out of Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi in a midnight police swoop, yoga guru Ramdev will return to the same venue on Thursday for another round of indefinite protest demanding bringing back black money stashed abroad.

Ramdev's second round of protest will also witness an expansion of his agenda from black money to the Lokpal Bill, making the Central Bureau of Investigation independent and a more transparent procedure for appointing election commissioners, comptroller and auditor general, Central Vigilance Commission and CBI director.

Ramdev's previous protest in Ramlila Maidan from June 4 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 the police while trying to flee from the venue in a woman's attire.

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 black money, Lokpal Bill, appointment procedures and making CBI independent.

"All we are demanding is the 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 per cent corruption will be checked," Ramdev had said on Tuesday.

Hazare, who had earlier announced that he would join Ramdev in 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.

"As of now, there are no plans to come to Delhi. For tomorrow, there are no plans. Yet to be decided (when to come to Delhi)," Hazare's close aide said.

Last Sunday, his associates in erstwhile Team Anna said they have not received any invite from Ramdev. A section in Team Anna had been uncomfortable with the alliance with Ramdev.

The yoga guru has said that Hazare has publicly said that he will come.

On June 3 , Ramdev held a protest in Jantar Mantar which was attended by Hazare and his team.

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