DEHRADUN, June 12 � Yoga guru Baba Ramdev today broke his nine-day-old fast that sparked a political slugfest heeding appeals of spiritual and religious leaders but vowed to continue his campaign against corruption, reports PTI.
Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar, who met the 46-year-old yoga exponent for the third day at a Dehradun hospital to persuade him to give up his fast said, �Ramdev has broken his fast by taking juice.�
�He ended the fast in the presence of various religious and spiritual leaders�, The Art of Living Founder said. Doctors said he will be discharged from hospital in two-three days though his condition is �stable�.
The Congress and the BJP welcomed Ramdev�s decision to end the fast. Congress general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said it is �good news� while BJP spokesperon Ravi Shankar Prasad said the party had a �sense of satisfaction�.
Ramdev, who went on a hunger strike to protest against corruption and black money issues, was admitted to the Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences here on Friday after his condition deteriorated at his Patanjali Yogapeeth ashram in Haridwar.
Vijay Dhasmana, the hospital director, said, �I am thankful to everyone who came here and helped Ramdev to break his fast. His health is not such that he can be discharged today. �It will take two-three days for him to be out of this hospital. By evening he will be shifted to a deluxe general ward. His condition is stable and he has broken his fast.�
The yoga exponent�s close associate Balakrishna, who also ended his fast at the hospital, said, �Ramdev has considered the request of hundreds of his followers and people from the saints� fraternity�.
Balakrishna said, �He (Ramdev) will take this satyagraha forward till his last breath.
�The protest will continue till our last breath. Ramdev wants black money to be declared as national wealth constitutionally. We appeal to all our followers and other people to break their fast as well,� Balakrishna said.
Earlier in the day, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy had met Ramdev.
Asked if the battle against the government was lost, Balakrishna said, �It is not a a matter of who wins or who loses. The aim was to wake up the nation against corruption and now people have woken up and the fight will continue.�
Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy said, �It is a matter of great satisfaction for the whole nation. Protests should be done in front of people who have a heart. Protests against corruption will continue. We all are with him.� Swamy was present when Ramdev took the juice.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had been meeting Ramdev at the hospital to persuade him to end his hunger strike. He had come from Haridwar where he had gone to immerse the ashes of his father who died recently.
Morari Bapu, a religious leader, said, �I came to meet him and to take stock of his health. I am happy to note that he has broken the fast and taken juice. Whatever message he wanted to give has been given.�
Soon after the announcement was made that Ramdev had ended his fast, a number of his supporters shouted anti-government and pro-Ramdev slogans.
�We all are happy that Ramdev has broken his fast and we all are with him to fight corruption and to bring back black money,� said Rajesh Kumar, a follower who came here from Jharkhand along with 50 others.
Earlier doctors attending on him had said, �His condition is stable. Ramdev�s blood pressure and pulse rate and all other parameters are the same. There was slight variation in his BP. It has tripped thrice today.�