New Delhi: Baba Ramdev has refused to call off his fast against corruption. He says the fast would begin on June 4 if the government does not meet his demands and bring back Indian money stashed in safe havens abroad.
“Till there is 100 per cent agreement on all issues and a decisive stage is reached, the fast will go on”, the yoga guru said.
Baba Ramdev’s plans to go ahead with his hunger strike comes just hours after meeting with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay. Mr Mukherjee has been deputed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to persuade the yoga guru to call off his fast. The four ministers held a meeting with Baba Ramdev at the Delhi airport’s Terminal 1.
After the meeting which lasted over two hours, Mr Sibal said, “Baba Ramdev raised significant national issues. We listened and responded to him.We agreed to have dialogue in next couple of days. I am sure we will take all those issues into account.”
Baba Ramdev later said that he had written three letters to the Prime Minister in connection with his demands to tackle corruption. He also called for the need for fast-track courts at the Central and state level to try cases of corruption. The yoga guru also added that social activist and anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare would join his hunger strike.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also appealed to Baba Ramdev to call off his proposed fast. He had written a letter to him saying, “Corruption is a big problem and we are making serious efforts to tackle it. It’s not a divisive issue.”
Baba Ramdev had earlier said he will start a satyagraha against corruption and black money and go on an indefinite fast from June 4. “My hunger strike will go ahead. There is no question of calling off the protest plan till my demands are met and till talks reach a satisfactory conclusion,” Baba Ramdev told NDTV yesterday.