Edited by Abhinav Bhatt | Updated: August 13, 2012 22:12 IST
Baba Ramdev who was released by the Delhi Police at 7:50 this evening, refused to leave Ambedkar Stadium, which had been turned into a holding pen of sorts for the yoga guru and his supporters. At 7.30 pm, there were over 8000 people there. The police told them they were all free to leave. "Will we go?" asked Baba Ramdev. "No," they shouted back. Baba Ramdev demanded that the government must provide food and water to everyone inside the stadium as it was a 'temporary jail'.
Baba Ramdev was arrested at around 2 pm while marching to Parliament. He, and 300 of his supporters, were stopped at the Ranjit Singh flyover, half a kilometre from Ramlila Maidan, where the yoga guru had been on a hunger strike for five days.
"Congress hatao, desh bachao (Remove the Congress Party and save the nation)," he said at the start of his "protest" walk in the afternoon with thousands of supporters as opposition political leadership rushed to be seen near him. "There is a Gangotri (fount) of corruption flowing through that one party," he said on top of his bus to NDTV. "We will make sure they lose."
Political support was offered at his camp this morning by BJP president Nitin Gadkari, and Sharad Yadav of the JD(U). Both pledged their parties' support to the yoga icon. The BJP also protested against black money in Parliament today, resulting in the adjournment of the Lok Sabha.
The Congress spokesman called the rally "a political stunt". The Congress spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi said the Finance Minister has already explained in Parliament how the government plans to combat black money.
It took the police five hours to move Baba Ramdev through the 3-4 kilometres from the flyover where he was arrested to Ambedkar Stadium in central Delhi.
Baba Ramdev had not sought police permission to march towards Parliament. He had been authorised only to hold a large sit-in at Delhi's Ramlila Maidan.
When he started that camp five days ago, he declared he would not target a political party or personality. That changed dramatically today. He called for the dismissal of the Congress-led government for its alleged inability and disinterest in recovering crores of black money.
Baba Ramdev has been demanding a robust ombudsman law to keep checks on government, a strong and independent Central Bureau of Investigation and efforts to act against tax evasion and illegal money sent to banks abroad.
Last year, Ramlila Maidan was packed to capacity, when the police charged in at midnight to force the camp to disband. Many people were injured. The Supreme Court blamed both the Delhi Police and the charismatic guru for risking the safety of thousands.
Become friends with your favourite NDTV people and shows. Start now »