Yoga guru Ramdev today began his march towards Parliament along with thousands of his supporters from Ramlila Maidan, intensifying his protest against corruption and black money.

Ramdev, who launched his fast on Thursday demanding that the Government take action on the issue of bringing back black money stashed away in foreign shores, began the march at around 1.15 pm from Ramlila Maidan.

Holding the national tricolour, Ramdev hopped into a open vehicle from outside the Maidan in central Delhi and began his march as he was joined by thousands of his supporters.

“Let us start the march to Parliament. Our march is not to gherao Parliament. But to agitate. None of our volunteers should indulge in violence,” he told his supporters before beginning his march.

A heavy police presence could be seen outside Ramlila Maidan and Ranjit Singh Flyover, the route of the protest march.

Ten minutes into the march the cavalcade was stopped by the Delhi Police near the flyover, saying that they do not have permission to march.

Ramdev announced this morning that he and his supporters would march towards Parliament and hold an agitation outside the complex.

“The Government has become completely deaf. We have to make them hear us. Now our protest will be outside Parliament.

We are not talking about gherao,” Ramdev said while addressing his supporters in the morning.

“Lok Sabha polls will be in 2014 and 99 per cent could be in 2013. This protest is to ensure that no dishonest person enters Parliament. Such people should be boycotted. We do not have a political agenda,” he said.

Earlier, sharing the dais with Ramdev, BJP President Nitin Gadkari today pledged his party’s “full support” to the yoga guru’s agitation against black money and launched a blistering attack on the Congress-led UPA Government on issues such as corruption and black money.

Appearing along with NDA convenor Sharad Yadav at the Ramlila Maidan protest venue, Gadkari told Ramdev that the BJP would stand “fully behind him” in his agitation demanding bringing back black money stashed away in foreign banks and that the party was raising the issue in Parliament.

“There is no political agenda to this agitation. This agitation should not be seen from the political prism. This is an agitation of the people of the country and not of one single party. Black money should be brought back to the country and spent on the country’s development,” he said in his address.

Alleging that CBI has become the ‘Congress Investigation Bureau’, Gadkari claimed that the investigative agency was the “biggest strength” of the Government, which it is using to blackmail people like Ramdev.

“We have not seen it once. We have seen it many times that CBI is misused by the Government. They use it to blackmail people. They are trying to harass people like Ramdev and his supporters,” he said.

The BJP chief also wanted to know why the Government was “reluctant” in naming the people who have stashed black money in foreign shores.

“The BJP is fully behind Baba in his fight against black money. He has our full support. Here you are leading lakhs of people in the movement and in Parliament, the BJP raised the issue and stalled the House on the matter,” he said.

He said black money should be brought back to the country and spent on developing India.

(This article was published on August 13, 2012)
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