Before he moved out of the Capital ending his five-day fast, yoga guru Ramdev picked sides for the 2014 polls - urging people not to vote for the Congress.
"Congress hatao, desh bachao
(Remove Congress, save the country)," Ramdev told a gathering in central Delhi's
Ambedkar Stadium, where he and his supporters spent the night.
"I'm ending the fast but the agitation will go on till our demands are met."
Baba Ramdev gestures while addressing supporters at Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi. HT/Raj K Raj
Ramdev wants the black money stashed abroad to be brought back. All parties other than the Congress were together on the issue of black money, he claimed.
At the end of the hour-long speech, two children served him lime juice, ending the fast.
Though Ramdev and his 5,000 supporters trooped out of the stadium peacefully, it took a lot of convincing on part of the Delhi Police to get them to move out.
Hours after he and his supporters were brought to the stadium on Monday, senior police officers held four meetings with Ramdev.
The police would be forced to act if the stadium was not vacated by 2pm Tuesday, he was told.
"We told him that the army was pressuring us to clear the area as the route had to be sanitised for the PM and other VVIPs heading to the Red Fort for Independence Day celebrations," a senior officer told HT.
During the night, decision was taken to end the fast and at 7am, Ramdev told his supporters to move out by 11am.
At 11.15am, he started his hour-long speech and once it ended, the crowd began to disperse. By 1.30pm, Ambedkar stadium was vacated.
Ambedkar Stadium is seen after Baba Ramdev's protest in New Delhi. HT/Raj K Raj
The stadium, however, will not be in the best shape when it hosts the Durand Cup, the oldest football tournament in India, from August 16.
The stadium looked like a garbage dump. But the holes and footmarks the crowd left behind are a bigger worry.
"Grass too suffered damage. We're filling up the holes but if it rains, they will open up," said Delhi Soccer Association (DSA) vice-president NK Bhatia.
(With agency inputs)
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