Yoga guru Baba Ramdev on Monday defied the police and remained non-committal on ending his fast on Tuesday morning despite being freed by the Delhi Police at Ambedkar Stadium, where he was detained after he tried to march to Parliament.
The yoga guru, who is campaigning against black money, on Monday evening refused to leave the Ambedkar stadium along with his supporters.
However, before the stand taken by him at the Ambedkar Stadium, the yoga guru indulged in some antics in the evening as he climbed on top of the bus in which he was being taken to Bawana following his detention by Delhi Police. Ramdev and his supporters forced the police to stop the bus at ITO in Delhi, resulting in massive traffic jams in the area.
The yoga guru asked the police to shift the temporary jail from Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Bawana to Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Stadium near ITO. Though it was not shifted to the Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Stadium, Ramdev and his supporters were detained at the Ambedkar Stadium, which is near the ITO.
Hours after the drama, Ramdev was declared free by the Delhi Police at around 7.30 pm. He, however, refused to leave the stadium asking the government to first provide food to his supporters.
Addressing his supporters at the stadium, Ramdev demanded that the government must provide food and water to everyone inside the stadium as it was a temporary jail, accusing it of spending money only on the "terrorists lodged in jail".
He further said that several parties such as the NDA, including the BJP, and the TDP supported his campaign, adding that Tibetan spiritual guru Dalai Lama was also supporting him.
Following the tough stand by the yoga guru, the Delhi Police requested him to call off his protest keeping into consideration the Independence Day and the security arrangements required for the purpose. Also, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that it was in touch with the Delhi Police and monitoring the situation, maintaining that security remained a concern for the in view of the Independence Day celebrations.
Though Ramdev said that even he respected the Independence Day, calling it a "festival of the country", his protest would go on till his last breath, adding that he would not take food unless everyone present at the ground was provided food and water.
Ramdev further reiterated that he would not vacate the stadium on Monday night.
Claiming that the protest was taking a decisive turn, the yoga guru said that he had majority in Parliament and among people as well. He pointed that he had support of several major parties such as the NDA, including the BJP, the BJD, the TDP, the BSP and the Samajwadi Party.
Following the tough stand taken by Ramdev, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that they were in constant touch with the Delhi Police and were monitoring the situation as it developed. The ministry has said that security was a concern because of August 15.
Earlier on Monday, Ramdev started his march towards Parliament and asked his supporters to follow, but the Delhi Police officially denied permission for it.
Threatening to court arrest, a defiant Ramdev said that the march won't break any law and order. While supporters walked, Ramdev sat on top of a car as the cavalcade started moving towards Parliament.
The march was not allowed to cross the Ranjit Singh flyover, where Ramdev and his supporters were detained to be taken to the Rajiv Gandhi stadium where a temporary jail was set up. The event sparked protests following which they were taken to the Ambedkar Stadium.
Another major highlight of the day was BJP president Nitin Gadkari joining him on the stage and defending his close aide Balkrishna, who is in jail in connection with a fake passport case.
Speaking at the Ramlila Maidan, Gadkari said, "People like Balkrishna who talk about black money are put in jail."
"This government is harassing and arresting people with the help of the CBI. The government is blackmailing Ramdev and his aides by using CBI. We have also raised the issue of Ramdev's fast in Parliament," Gadkari added.
The BJP president further assured full support to the movement of Baba Ramdev against black money stashed abroad.