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After Baba, Anna vs govt

india Updated: Jun 13, 2011 01:37 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
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Baba Ramdev ended his fast against black money and corruption nine days after he began it in Delhi amid a blaze of publicity. When he sipped the lemon juice from a steel tumbler in a Dehradun hospital, none of his demands had been met nor any conditions set.

"Thank God that he has given up his fast. I pray to God for his health," is all Ramdev got from finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in response.

Ramdev wanted an ordinance to tackle black money.

Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who had been camping in Haridwar, announced at 11.10am that Ramdev had broken his fast, in view of "people's concern for his life".

The yoga guru had claimed before going on fast that he could go three months without food.

Opposition leaders Punjab chief minister Prakash Singh Badal and former Haryana CM Om Prakash Chautala visited Ramdev in hospital on Saturday.

The high decibel anshan days ended unceremoniously with none of Ramdev's demands - termed absurd like declaring accounts in tax havens national assets and hanging those with black money - met or him being given any assurance.

This is in stark contrast to Anna Hazare's fast, which resulted in the government agreeing to a joint panel to draft the lokpal bill.

Asked if Ramdev had lost the battle, Acharya Balkrishna, the yoga teacher's alter ego, said, "The aim was to wake up the nation against corruption and people have woken up … the fight will continue."

Just 10 days ago, Ramdev was received at Delhi airport by four top ministers, who failed to dissuade him from his fast. A police swoop put an end to his fast on June 5.

The Congress - divided over the handling of the Ramdev issue - said it had nothing to do with either the fast or its end.

"It is good for his health. He should have listened to medical advice earlier," spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.

Former BJP chief Rajnath Singh said the party stood by Ramdev's effort to get back black money and the Congress was in a "state of panic" seeing the countrywide support for Ramdev on the issue.