Indian TV guru Baba Ramdev arrested at protest march

A guru known to millions from a television show on Hinduism and yoga has been arrested at a protest against government corruption near parliament.

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NEW DELHI // A guru known to millions from a television show on Hinduism and yoga was arrested at a protest against government corruption near parliament yesterday.

Amid the sounds of conch shells, police took Baba Ramdev to a waiting bus after the bearded guru, known for sitting in the lotus position in saffron robes as he performs deep breathing exercises on his show, called for political change.

"Remove the Congress Party and save the nation," he said at the start of his protest walk in the afternoon with thousands of supporters as opposition political leadership rushed to be seen near him.

Mr Ramdev, who ties his unruly long black hair into a bun and jets around in private planes, had been arrested in a surprise night-time raid last year on corruption allegations, sparking outrage by supporters who said the move was political.

A spokesman for the governing Congress Party called yesterday's rally a political stunt.

The prime minister Manmohan Singh, seeking to gain political momentum and boost the economy, this month brought back the pro-market reformer Palaniappan Chidambaram as finance minister.