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Ramdev returns to Ramlila Maidan a year after crackdown


Bhupendra Chaubey,CNN-IBN
Aug 09, 2012 at 09:32am IST

New Delhi: Yoga guru Ramdev will be back at the Ramlila Maidan on Thursday to renew his fight against black money, 14 months since his first protest at the venue ended in a midnight crackdown by the police. It remains to be seen whether the movement can be successful even as anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare has refused to share his platform.

The last time that Ramdev attempted a protest against black money, he had to run away in the middle of the night and his supporters were lathicharged.

Now Ramdev is back, his demands are the same, the stage is the same as well - the Ramlila Maidan in the capital.

Just last week, another high profile agitation, Anna Hazare's fast came to a sudden end as the government refused to play ball. Anna ended up disbanding his entire team and though Ramdev did extend an invitation to Anna to attend his fast, Anna isn't in any mood to oblige.

Anna's key aide Kiran Bedi, though, has taken a different position. She tweeted, "Baba's cause like Anna's India Against Corruption movement for Jan Lokpal Bill is for all of us, and for the benefit of the country. We must support it, else we will lose out."

Even if Anna's team doesn't come, Ramdev's devout followers are expected to come in large numbers despite questions on Ramdev's own credibility. CNN-IBN had shown how income tax authorities were accusing him of hiding his wealth. His key aide Balakrishnan is already behind bars in a fake passport scam.

It's such issues which had led to this outburst from Congress leader Digvijaya Singh last year, who said, "Ramdev is a thug."

Of late, Ramdev's growing proximity to several BJP leaders has given a strong political overtone to his entire movement. How the government deal with him this time, will be reflective of whether he is treated like Anna or not.

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