New Delhi: He is down but not out quite yet. Baba Ramdev, who has been lying low after his ‘fast against corruption’ ended in a whimper, has renewed his support to Anna Hazare in his fight for a strong Lokpal Bill.
Ramdev’s right-hand man Acharya Balakrishna said on Wednesday that the Yoga guru will "join" Anna in his protest in the future and that he cannot be prevented from coming to Delhi again.
"Delhi is the country`s capital. It belongs to the people. It`s not somebody`s private property. On what basis can the govt stop Baba Ramdev from coming to Delhi? Is he some thief or a dacoit or an anti-national? Government cannot muzzle a person who raises the concerns of the people. The people won`t allow this to happen again,” Balakrishna said.
Stressing that Baba Ramdev will support Team Anna in the campaign, Balakrishna announced that all those associated with Baba Ramdev`s Bharat Swabhiman and Patanjali Yog Samiti will join whatever protest Anna launches in the coming days.
Yesterday, the last round of talks between the government and civil society members held to work out an agreed draft of the Lokpal Bill ended in a failure after which Anna Hazare announced that he will go ahead with his fast from August 16 to "teach the government a lesson".
After nine meetings spread over two months, the joint drafting committee of the two sides concluded its deliberations on a note of disagreement with the government asserting that it could not allow creation of a parallel structure which would be "answerable to nobody".
The government draft ruled out scrutiny of the Prime Minister, higher judiciary and the conduct of MPs in Parliament by the Lokpal.
However, the government draft proposes several critical powers conferring quasi-judicial status to Lokpal besides powers to attach assets, independent prosecution and investigation machinery with full police powers under the proposed ombudsman.
While government claimed that discussions with the civil society have helped to bring out a "strong and robust" bill, the Hazare camp expressed "deep disappointment" with the government draft.