Posted On Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 09:14:50 AM
New Delhi: There was high drama in Delhi on Monday as Ramdev was detained while leading a march to parliament to push his demand for bringing back black money stashed abroad. Many political parties, including those supporting the government, came out in open support of his campaign.
He was let off within hours. Ramdev travelled atop a bus refusing to go to a faraway makeshift jail on the city's outskirts in Bawana. He then forced the police to take him to a football stadium in central Delhi instead.
|Ramdev leans out from the window of a bus after courting arrest during a march to the Parliament in New Delhi on Monday
Ramdev put more pressure on the administration by asking the cops to provide food and water to his supporters. Nearly six hours after the drama unfolded, police let him off. The government may have ignored Ramdev all throughout, but the campaign show-cased two things.
One, his acceptability is so wide that political parties ranging from the BJP and NDA allies to Samajwadi Party came out in his support to bail him out. Non-Congress leaders either came to Ram Lila grounds or issued statements backing him. Two, he got such record crowds in support for his cause that he brought half of Delhi to a standstill.
There were massive traffic jams following his arrest drama. According to sources close to Ramdev, whose close aide Balkrishna is in CBI custody on fake passport case, the yoga guru had not anticipated this lack of response. In fact, all through his speeches at Ram Lila, Ramdev tried to reach out to the government.
However, when nothing seemed to work, Ramdev's patience ran out and he turned his guns on the government. The BJP and its allies came to his rescue, rushed to his help on the last day with BJP chief Nitin Gadkari announcing that his party had raised black money issue in both the Houses of the Parliament on Monday to express solidarity with his cause.
BJP president Nitin Gadkari and JD (U) chief Sharad Yadav shared the dais with Ramdev in the morning. They attacked the Congress and asked people to throw out the UPA government accusing it of not acting against corruption and black money.
Addressing the gathering, Gadkari told Ramdev that he was “not alone” in his fight and that his party had disrupted Parliament today on the issue of black money stashed away in foreign shores.
The Congress refused to get overwhelmed by the turn-out at Ram Lila or Ramdev's call for more agitation . Slamming the BJP for Gadkari’s presence at the site, AICC chief spokesman Janardan Dwivedi said, “The masks are finally off. We now know that Ramdev was fronting
Politicans across spectrum bat for Ramdev
► We have been demanding to bring back black money for quite some time. We will support anyone who will talk about it
- Mulayam Singh Yadav, Samajwadi Party Chief
► Ramdevji is raising his voice for a right cause ... It’s a subject of public interest and that is the reason why JD(U) national president went to the dharna site
- Nitsh Kumar, Bihar Chief Minister
► I think like this (Ramdev) kind of movement is helpful to remind people and also leaders that something should be done (to weed out corruption)
- The Dalai Lama, Buddhist Spiritual Leader