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Carnival Time At Ramlila Maidan

PTI 22 Aug 2011, 14:19:13 IST

New Delhi, Aug 22: Fight for space on national television, patriotic slogans and people dressed as Mahatma Gandhi and Chhatrapati Shivaji—a carnival atmosphere prevails at Ramlila Maidan.

Sporting tricolour headbands and wrist bands and waving tricolours, people started pouring in the Maidan from early in the morning.Many protesters returned to the ground after a good sleep, saying they want to ensure that the support the Gandhian was receiving should not dwindle. “I was here yesterday and we want to ensure that Anna's support does not dwindle,” Kishan Kher, a businessman from Meerut said.

The crowd broke into cheers as Anna took the centrestage at 9 am.The crowds also clamoured to give a byte to the TV cameras.“It is important to talk to TV cameras. After all this is how the message goes out that there is something happening here in Delhi,” Kamal Singh Rathore, a resident of Rohini in the national capital said.
A host of people dressed as Gandhi and Shivaji were seen taking rounds of the ground.

Volunteers were seen distributing biscuits, tea and water to the people and the large media and police contingents posted at the venue.As his fast entered the seventh day, Anna Hazare today did not make his customary morning address as he came to the dais.

Hazare has been making an address in the morning for the last three days setting the agenda of his protest but today he did not make any statements as he took the centrestage at 9 am.

He was lying on a mattress on the dais. Usually, he start with slogans of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai' and ‘Vande Matram'. “I expected that he will speak and give some direction about the protest,” said Krishna Sharma, a Hazare supporter who was at Ramlila Maidan.

Hazare has lost five kgs in the past seven days of his hunger strike with doctors today saying he is fine.“He has lost five kilograms in the past seven days. His weight has come down to 67 from 72 kg. His blood pressure is 130/80 and pulse rate 90,” close associate Manish Sisodia told reporters here.

“Doctors say his health is okay but we are worried,” he said.Another associate Arvind Kejriwal said the ketone level in Hazare's blood and urine has risen slightly.Activist Kiran Bedi said Anna has not eaten for seven days but no one in the government seems concerned. PTI