In less than an hour, Baba Ramdev will announce his new strategy. Here's the story so far:
1. Baba Ramdev has reportedly promised the Delhi Police that he will leave the Ambedkar stadium and head to Haridwar soon after he ends his six-day fast this morning. The yoga guru and about 5000 supporters defied a police request and spent the night at the stadium.
2. There were reports earlier that the Baba might refuse to budge yet as he wanted to hoist the national flag at the Ambedkar stadium tomorrow.
3. The government, sources say, has decided to just not get provoked by Baba Ramdev's moves, including the refusal so far to leave the Ambedkar stadium. They have been counting on his supporters getting tired and on the fact that access to food, water and toilets is a problem at the stadium.
4. The Delhi Police is treading cautiously. It has instructions not to let a repeat of the midnight swoop fiasco of June last year or even the botched-up Anna Hazare arrest episode of August 2011 happen.
5. The Delhi administration is nervous because the Ambedkar stadium in Central Delhi is in a high security zone of the capital and with Independence Day less than 24 hours away, the safety of the thousands of supporters who have assembled in support of Baba Ramdev has become a big concern.
6. While Baba Ramdev campaigns against black money, income tax officials are scrutinizing the financial details of the Patanjali Yoga Trust and Divya Yog Mandir Trust he runs, for alleged tax evasion.
7. Politicians came out in support of Baba Ramdev yesterday, isolating the Congress. At his camp in the morning, BJP president Nitin Gadkari and Sharad Yadav provided a VIP touch. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also lent his considerable credibility to the Baba's cause. Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati, leaders of the two major parties in Uttar Pradesh, both said the issue of black money is worth attention and scrutiny.
8. Along with the major political leaders, Arvind Kejriwal of the recently disbanded Team Anna also showed his support. He tweeted, "We support Swami Ramdev's agitation and issues raised by him. Urge people to support his cause.They r neck deep in corruption n their support is mere opportunism (sic)."
9. Yesterday, Baba Ramdev and thousands of his supporters were detained when they tried to march to Parliament. They were brought to Ambedkar stadium; they were released by the Delhi Police at 7.50 pm, but they refused to leave stadium. "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".
10. Last year, Baba Ramdev's camp at 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.