Crowds swell as Ramdev comes to Team Anna’s fast site (Lead)July 27th, 2012 - 7:51 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) There were thin crowds at the venue as Team Anna’s fast at Jantar Mantar entered its third day Friday but the scene changed dramatically after yoga guru Baba Ramdev joined in with a huge group of supporters.
The empty areas of the stand at Jantar Mantar overflowed with people as Ramdev arrived at around 4 p.m. after inspecting the Ramlila ground - the site for his agitation starting Aug 9 - and vowed support to Team Anna’s protest action.
“We will support whoever fights against corruption. This fight is to protect the country,” he said.
His comments come on the same day when he slammed Team Anna for attacking President Pranab Mukherjee.
“President is a constitutional post. One should not criticise those who occupy constitutional posts. Even Anna Hazare agrees with this,” Ramdev told reporters in Ramlila ground earlier Friday.
“The person who is sitting at the highest office of constitution, one should not make comment about him… In present circumstances, one should not name Pranab Mukherjee. Whatever is there, can be seen after five years,” he said.
Ramdev will be starting an indefinite fast against black money Aug 9.
Before Ramdev’s arrival at Jantar Mantar, there were only about 400 people at noon, contrary to the thousands that had turned out at Team Anna’s earlier agitations in Delhi.
Anna Hazare, however, said that the size of the crowd did not matter.
“It is not by gathering a crowd that a movement becomes stronger. The success and failure of a movement does not depend on the size of the crowd,” he said at Jantar Mantar.
Asked about the health of fasting team member Arvind Kejriwal, Hazare said it was not a matter of concern.
Referring to the future of the movement, he said: “We have nothing to do with whether the government agrees or not (to the Lokpal bill). We have to just do our duty for the benefit of the country and society. Even if the government does not agree, our movement will go on.”
But he also said he was hopeful that the Lokpal bill will be passed sooner or later.
“They (the government) have not come from England or Pakistan. They are our own people. And if they do not think about the country and people, then who is to be blamed? Don’t they think about it? The people of the country have selected you. Is it not their duty (to pass the Lokpal bill)?”
Team Anna member Kiran Bedi was not present Friday. “Today in Pune for two prior committed speaking engagements. Perhaps a bit of a break of a different kind,” she tweeted.
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Tags: agitation, anna hazare, arvind kejriwal, black money, circumstances, constitution, contrary, corruption, crowd, crowds, empty areas, mantar, New Delhi, pranab mukherjee, protest action, success and failure, team member, third day, venue, yoga guru