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Govt initiates fresh round of talks with Baba Ramdev

June 03
03:46 2011

Baba Ramdev

NEW DELHI: With barely 24 hours left for his ‘satyagraha’ against corruption and black money, the government today initiated a fresh round of talks with Baba Ramdev to persuade him to give up his proposed agitation.

Senior ministers Kapil Sibal and Subodh Kant Sahay met him at a hotel here just an hour after Ramdev addressed thousands of his supporters at the Ramlila Maidan, where he indicated that a consensus was emerging on all issues raised by him barring one or two.

Before the crucial talks with Ramdev, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram and some of their colleagues went into a huddle to prepare a draft for the meeting.

Making all-out efforts to placate the yoga guru, the government made senior ministers stay put in the capital.

While Mukherjee scrapped his plan to visit Kolkata, Law Minister Veerappa Moily ended up canceling his scheduled trip to Mangalore apparently for the same reason.

The meeting between Sibal, Sahay and Ramdev came after the Baba’s address to his supporters where he indicated a softening of his stance.

“…Barring one or two issues, a consensus seems to be emerging between us and the government,” said the yoga guru, who had held his first round of talks with senior ministers, including Mukherjee, who had met him at the airport after his arrival here on June 1.

Hectic back-channel efforts were on for the last two days to placate Ramdev, who has raised issues of black money and corruption, as the government is keen to avert an Anna Hazare-like protest on the streets.

-PTI

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