New Delhi: Ramdev brought in crowds briefly on Friday to Team Anna's indefinite fast, which has so far failed to evoke much response, but differed with it on the issue of attacking new President Pranab Mukherjee.

The crowd, which appeared dismal in the morning, swelled with the arrival of Ramdev in the afternoon at the Team Anna fast venue at Jantar Mantar.
His supporters came with him in processions to Jantar Mantar from Ramlila Maidan, where Ramdev is planning a protest from August nine against black money, bringing some relief on the faces of Team Anna members.

At the venue, Team Anna supporters accused the media of belittling their protest by focusing on lack of crowds.

Though he attacked the Prime Minister, the yoga guru disapproved of Team Anna making accusations against the President, saying it is not proper to criticise a person holding the highest constitutional office.

Ramdev also said while he would continue to support the Team Anna movement, he was against personal attacks on anyone.

"The President's office is a constitutional post. One should not criticise those who occupy constitutional posts. Even Anna Hazare agrees with this," he told reporters at Ramlila Maidan before going to Team Anna's protest.

At the protest site, Ramdev picked the Prime Minister for his attack, saying, "India now needs an honest Prime Minister to bring change in the country...The role of the government is not to just bring economic prosperity but also to raise pride of the nation the world over.

"But instead our own Prime Minister is being branded as an underachiever. It is not a matter of joke but of shame," he said.

Congress hit out at Hazare and his team accusing them of turning dharnas into a "joke" as the indefinite fast against corruption entered its third day.

Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said, "In a democracy people have a right to sit on dharna or hold agitation. Team Anna has reduced this right of the people into a joke. Baba Ramadev and Team Anna have played with this right of the common man.

"It seems he and his team want to put pressure on the government. Nobody has the right to build unnecessary pressure on the government. People of the country have now understood their motives," he told reporters here.

JD(U) President Sharad Yadav also asked Team Anna not to "denigrate" institutions and reminded them that only political parties have the structure to spread awareness about corruption.

On his part, Ramdev said that when they speak about bringing changes in system, they also mean that the people in power get out of their official residences and reside where the common man stays.

"The country should be like where the king stays in a hut and people live in palaces. Why the President resides in a place which has 350 rooms? Why governors, ministers and MPs stay in bunglows. Why can't they stay in flats like Congressmen in United States do?" he said.

On Team Anna's protest, he said he was giving full support to it and sought to dispel any impression of a discord between them.

As soon as Ramdev left, most of his supporters also left the venue.

Earlier in the day, a group of people obstructed coverage by journalists accusing them of focussing on lack of support for the anti-corruption movement.

The organisers announced that those indulging in such acts were not with the movement and police should take action against them and blamed the incident on miscreants who were out to disrupt the fast.


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