Yoga guru Ramdev and his supporters have begun a three-day fast. Earlier today, Ramdev launched his second round of indefinite protest here demanding bringing back of blackmoney stashed away abroad.

Ramdev arrived at the Ramlila Maidan protest venue, from where he was bundled out by police 14 months ago during a similar stir, to a rousing welcome from his supporters. Before coming to the venue, he visited Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial Raj Ghat.

“I am here to pay my respect to the sacrifice made by Mahatama Gandhi. I am paying my respect to Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and 7,00,000 other martyrs whose sacrifice has sadly been compromised because of corruption and black money,” Ramdev said.

The second round of Ramdev’s protest has witnesses an expansion of his agenda from blackmoney to Lokpal Bill, making CBI independent and a more transparent procedure for appointing Election Commissioners, CAG, CVC and CBI Director.

His previous protest at Ramlila Maidan from June 4 last year ended in a midnight police crackdown on June 6th morning with authorities claiming that he violated the norms agreed upon. He was caught by police while trying to flee from the venue in woman’s attire.

Anna Hazare was not present at the beginning of the fast though he had earlier declared that he will join the protest.

Ramdev’s protest comes a week after Hazare called off his fast and disbanded his team which has decided to take a political plunge.

Ramdev said he has no political agenda and the second phase of his protest will be announced if the government does not agree to his demands on blackmoney, Lokpal Bill, appointment procedures and making CBI independent.

(This article was published on August 9, 2012)
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