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Thousands join Ramdev’s anti-graft fast

New Delhi: Thousands of people Saturday assembled at the Ramlila Ground in central Delhi as yoga guru Baba Ramdev went ahead with his fast against corruption and black money amid tight security.

“It is overwhelming to see the huge crowd that has gathered in support of our crusade against corruption. The journey is long and I request the supporters to stay calm,” Ramdev said to a thunderous crowd as he began his hunger strike.

“We are not going to bow down to any political party or conspiracy. It will be a peaceful protest,” Ramdev said.

The yoga guru decided to go ahead with the fast after a meeting with the government representatives Friday failed to reach a compromise over the demands he has raised against graft practices in India.

Supporters from all across the country poured in at the venue early morning to register themselves before joining the yoga guru in his fast.

“I have come here to show that corruption is not just one man’s issue. It is the entire country’s concern whether Baba Ramdev does it, or Anna Hazare does it,” said 42-year-old Ashok Chauhan, an income tax officer from Jaipur.

Another supporter, Suresh Tanwar from Haryana, said: “We will die, but not go away until the government takes a strong action against corruption. This is a mass movement that will not die down easily.”

The yoga guru has asked the government to take urgent steps to bring back black money stashed away abroad by Indians and also take effective measures to curb rampant graft in the country.

He said the agitation was “democratic and non-violent” and “not against any party or to bring down the government”.

“A few corrupt people have given a bad name to this country. We have to do something,” Ramdev said to the humongous gathering.

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