Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday went the extra mile to persuade yoga guru Ramdev not to go ahead with his hunger strike from June 4, promising him to find a "practical and pragmatic" solution to tackle the issue of corruption.
"This is not a personal issue. We all agree with Ramdev that corruption is a big problem and that we are committed to tackling it with all the resources at our disposal," Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The remarks by the Prime Minister came close on the heels of a letter he had written to Ramdev "welcoming his constructive suggestions to improve governance".
He also assurged the yoga guru that the government was "eager to work with you and members of civil society towards building just and prosperous India".
Informing Ramdev that finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and his officers would continue to have discussions with him on the issues that he has raised, Singh hoped in the letter that "you will now reverse your decision to go on a hunger strike unto death".
"We will work with Ramdev earnestly in finding a practical and pragmatic solution to the problem. The question is what is possible way and what is feasible. There are laws", Singh said.
"We hope Ramdev will recognise that we are sincere and serious about tackling corruption," the Prime Minister said, adding that the government has taken steps and the finance minister and the officials briefed him on the steps taken on the issue.
He said that the corruption was not a divisive issue and hoped all concerned would cooperate in tackling the issue.
Acknowledging Ramdev's letter of May four expressing his concern and suggestions on the problems of corruption and black money, Singh said "I want to assure that our government shares your anxiety on these issues.
"We are committed to deal with the problems of corruption, black money in our economy and illicit funds deposited in foreign banks".
Singh said that the finance minister and his officers would continue to have discussions with him on the issues raised by him.
"We welcome your constructive suggestions to improve governance. We are eager to work with you and members of civil society towards building a just and prosperous India... I hope that you will now reverse your decision to go on a hunger strike unto death", he added.