PM meets cabinet colleagues on Ramdev issue

Baba Ramdev
New Delhi, Jun 2: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a meeting with his cabinet colleagues who had earlier tried to persuade yoga guru Baba Ramdev to withdraw his call for an indefinite fast from June 4.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram and HRD Minister Kapil Sibal briefed Singh on their discussions with Ramdev during the meeting that lasted over an hour.

The leaders are also understood to have discussed the yoga guru's proposals and ways to defuse the situation.

Cabinet Secretary K M Chandraseker and Principal Secretary to the PM T K A Nair were also present in the meeting in which Singh was briefed about the parleys held Ramdev.

The government's efforts to prevent a repeat of a situation that unfolded when Anna Hazare-led civil society mounted a campaign for a strong Lokpal in April appeared to have not yielded immediate fruits as Ramdev insisted on "action" rather than "assurances" on the issue of bringing back black money stashed abroad.

Sources said that Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay, who was among the ministers who met Ramdev today, will play a key role in persuading the yoga guru to call off his protest.

Sahay was in the US leading a delegation of his ministry when he was roped in by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to join the efforts to make the yoga guru call off his protest.

In the two-hour long meeting with Union ministers, Ramdev is learnt to have demand the constitution of a special committee on bringing back black money and making public the names of those who have stashed their ill-gotten money abroad.

Besides the issue of black money, the yoga guru also raised the issue of acquisition of farm lands by government and uniformity in wages of workers, they said.


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