Ramdev's U-turn, says lokpal must cover PM too | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Ramdev's U-turn, says lokpal must cover PM too

delhi Updated: Jun 26, 2011 23:46 IST
HT Correspondent

Baba Ramdev took a U-turn on the inclusion of the prime minister within the purview of the lokpal on Sunday, saying he had no problem with trusts and NGOs being brought under lokpal if the PM and MPs were brought under it.

This brings Ramdev - who had reservations with the PM's inclusion under lokpal before he sat on a fast early in June - close to the position of the Anna Hazare team.

"Include PM, MPs, trusts and NGOs, and I'll be happy," Ramdev said.

"Trusts are at least working in national interest… We put Rs 1,100 crore given by the people to our trust in national interest."

On his maiden visit to Delhi after his protest at Ramlila ground was broken by police action early in June - he first visited Rajbala, who was hospitalised after the then police action - Ramdev spewed venom on the Centre, labelling it "corrupt" and "undemocratic".

He demanded his conversations with HRD minister Kapil Sibal be made public and wondered why ministers had come to receive him if was corrupt, communal or undemocratic.

Under attack from the Congress leaders as a BJP-RSS "mask", Ramdev also said he was no "mask" for anyone, but added he would support any party or organisation that would take a stand against black money.

Attacking the Centre over the Ramlila ground action, the yoga guru claimed the dais was deliberately set afire and women were assaulted by "drunk men".

Mindful of the fact that his abortive 8-day fast may have damaged his credibility as a "strong" yoga expert, Ramdev said, "The yoga of rishis is being insulted. First undertake a 1-lakh kilometer yatra followed by a nine-day fast, and then question me," said the yoga guru.

Ramdev avoided controversy on his relations with Anna Hazare's team, saying: "The issue is not Ramdev or respected Anna ji. The issue is the nation and I support all campaigns against corruption."

Is Balakrishna passport fake?
The CBI on Sunday lodged a preliminary enquiry against yoga guru Baba Ramdev's aide Acharya Balakrishna over allegations of using fake documents to acquire Indian passport.

The agency will also probe whether he possesses multiple passports -- a punishable offence under the Indian Passport Act.

Special crime branch of the CBI located in Dehradun will begin probing the allegations from Monday. A team from New Delhi headquarters may also be sent to Uttarakhand for assistance.

"We got a complaint on Saturday from the Centre, according to which Balakrishna had used fake documents to acquire his Indian passport," said a CBI source.

Balakrishna's passport, issued in 1997, was renewed in 2007 by authorities in Dehradun, said sources.