Ramdev, Hazare to fast against corruption

New Delhi, June 1: Yoga guru Baba Ramdev and social activist Anna Hazare will Sunday sit in the capital on a day-long fast against corruption and black money stashed away by Indians abroad.

“The protest will take place simultaneously in the capital at Jantar Mantar, in all state capitals and in 650 districts across the country,” Ramdev said at a press conference here.

Ramdev said he would be joined by Hazare during his day-long hunger strike.

Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Kiran Bedi will also participate in the protest.

The fast comes in the wake of fresh corruption allegations made by Team Anna against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and 14 of his cabinet ministers.

Team Anna has alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks to public and private companies. It has also questioned the role of Manmohan Singh in the suspected scam.

The prime minister held the coal portfolio from November 2006 to May 2009.

According to the Comptroller and Auditor General, mining rights for coal blocks were allocated without auctioning them and this led to massive profits for chosen private firms.

The yoga guru said the protest in Delhi would start at 6 a.m.

The protest marks a year of the police crackdown on Ramdev and his supporters in the capital’s Ramlila Maidan while they were protesting against black money. The police action had led to the death of a woman.

Thousands of people are expected to join the protest, said Ramdev, who would reach Jantar Mantar in the heart of the capital after paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat at 10 a.m.

He said the government should bring back black money stashed in foreign banks.

“Our protest is against black money, corruption in government, and for a strong Lokpal.

“June 3 will mark the beginning of our protest, which will continue in four phases. We will also decide our future course that day,” Ramdev said.

Ramdev and Hazare would break their fast at 6 p.m. to mark the beginning of candle marches and protest rallies in several districts across the country.

IANS