A day after committing a faux pas by putting up pictures of his close aide Balkrishna along with leading figures of the Independence movement such as Mahatma Gandhi and Shaheed Bhagat Singh, the dais at Baba Ramdev's three-day fast at Ramlila Maidan was in the news yet again.
Along with the pictures of martyrs of the freedom movement such as Bhagat Singh and Chandra Shekhar on Friday were seen Rajbala — a woman who died of injuries succumbed during the police crackdown on Ramdev's fast in June last year — and former president APJ Abdul Kalam.
Soon after pictures of Kalam with Rajbala and Bhagat Singh were flashed by television news channels, objections were raised by several people. Later, the posters depicting the former president were removed on Ramdev's instructions.
Meanwhile, despite dwindling crowds and convoluted posters, the cash registers at Ramdev's protest kept ringing as donations came in lakhs. Total donations touched Rs 15 lakh, as thousands came forward to donate for the cause.
"People from all walks of life are donating. We have got donations from Rs 100 to Rs 1 lakh. The response is very good," said a volunteer at the donation counter.
Ramdev's kitchen, which is a major attraction at the venue, served around 15,000, including kids from nearby colonies, on Friday.
To make sure that the protest gets good press, special meal thalis were also provided to mediapersons.
The organisers claimed that the number of people who got themselves registered with the movement went up to 5,000, whereas the number of people at the protest venue on Friday fell to 12,000.
"His movement can meet the same fate as Anna Hazare's. First day it was quite a show at Ramlila Maidan as Ramdev thundered but now with falling numbers, it seems that the yoga guru won't be able to build on the momentum since despite his several calls, nobody from the government has responded as yet," said a senior police officer.