Baba Ramdev ends fast

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev ended his fast-unto-death on the ninth day of the agitation against black money on Sunday at the request of spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

“Baba has broken his fast taking a glass of juice from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,” announced Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy, who also took the opportunity to blast the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre and even Sonia Gandhi, alleging she had rushed to Switzerland to save her accounts.

Baba Ramdev would be in hospital for a few more days.After his condition deteriorated, Ramdev was taken to the Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, here.While the fasting of Ramdev turned into an event of high drama since the crackdown on his supporters in New Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, it also sparked a huge political row with the Congress alleging that the saffron forces were behind the yoga guru.On Saturday spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar met Ramdev in hospital for a second time and appealed him to break his fast.Madhya Pradesh Health Minister Narottam Mishra, Uttarakhand Agriculture Minister Trivendra Rawat and Congress leader ND Tiwari also visited Ramdev in hospital.

In New Delhi, India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday slammed the Congress-led UPA government for its crackdown on Ramdev’s fast at Ramlila Maidan.”Everyone has seen the atrocities committed by the government and the police against the people. Women and children were beaten up, sadhus were beaten up. This is the most corrupt government ever,” BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad said at a press conference.”How could the government have resorted to shelling tear gas in an enclosed space? According to the law you cannot fire tear gas in such areas because people could die. And last week tear gas was fired at the people within a closed space,” he said.He hit out at Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal for saying no one was injured in the incident.On the eighth day of his fast Saturday, Ramdev’s close aide Acharya Balakrishnan was hospitalised as well, while Opposition parties, including the BJP, and the yoga guru’s followers demanded that the government take his demands seriously.

In a statement early Saturday, Ramdev’s spokesperson had said, “Despite all kind of medical attendance and supervision, the blood pressure of Swami Ramdev has been 40-80 between 10 pm to 6 am. This is causing deep concern, as it may be dangerous to his life. He is in special ICU.”On Friday he was taken on a stretcher to a hospital run by his Himalayan Trust in Dehradun around 3 pm on the seventh day of his fast.Ramdev was suffering from dehydration and lost a total of over five kilos in the past days, said the doctor on Friday while advising hospitalization.On Friday, Ramdev was taking lemon water and honey to keep up his glucose levels while his group clamoured for action over his demands.The yoga guru, who runs a Rs 180 crore-a-year business empire, had started a hunger strike campaign on June 4 demanding that the government repatriate illicit funds of the Indian rich purportedly stashed in offshore accounts.He had also demanded higher education in schools to be imparted in Hindi, withdraw Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes and impose the death penalty on corrupt ministers and government officials.But under attack for his seemingly eccentric demands and inflammatory comments, Ramdev on Thursday last declared his assets, though he went silent on the 200 or so companies linked to him.Ramdev, whose real campaign began only after the government leaked an improvised agreement that showed the yoga guru never intended to go ahead with it anyway, on Thursday defied an apparent vow of silence (‘maun vrat’) to hold a news conference and reveal numbers.

This came after the his comments of forming an 11,000-strong vigilante militia were panned widely and questions regarding his width of wealth grew louder, seriously undermining, for the second time in a week, his self-proclaimed movement against government corruption.


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