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Ramdev fast: Will he, won't he? Government in a fix

IANS  New Delhi, June 03, 2011
First Published: 08:52 IST(3/6/2011) | Last Updated: 11:46 IST(3/6/2011)

The government will hold another round of talks with yoga guru Baba Ramdev today to dissuade him from going on an indefinite fast against corruption, as the top leadership of the Congress, led by party president Sonia Gandhi, fully backed the move.

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"The next talks will be held Friday", Parliamentary Affaris Minister P.K. Bansal told reporters yesterday after he and two other ministers - Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal and Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay - had special meeting with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on how to negotiate with Ramdev.

"Talking to someone is not sign of weakness," Bansal added. Bansal, alongwith Mukherjee, Sibal and Sahay had held talks with Ramdev at Delhi airport Wedesday but could not dissuade him from going on fast from Saturday against corruption and to bring back black money stashed by Indians in foreign tax havens.

Earlier, the Congress core group, which included Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, met here.

The meeting decided to dispel all impressions that there were differences between the government and the party over the strategy to deal with Ramdev's agitation, sources said.

The meeting at Manmohan Singh's 7 Race Course Road residence was also attended by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and other leaders.

Later, the ministers engaging Ramdev - Sibal and Bansal - met Mukherjee, sources said.


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