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Govt engages Ramdev in back-channel talks

Govt engages Ramdev in back-channel talks
PTI
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First Published: Thu, Jun 02 2011. 08 18 PM IST
Updated: Thu, Jun 02 2011. 08 18 PM IST
New Delhi: Hectic back-channel efforts were initiated on Thursday to persuade Baba Ramdev from going ahead with his indefinite hunger strike from Saturday as the Congress party held consultations at the highest level to avert a Hazare-like protest on the streets.
Indications that both the sides were in serious discussions came when Ramdev called off a press conference scheduled this evening at Ramlila Maidan where he is to sit on fast two days later.
The cancellation of the media briefing took place on the ground that there was “serious dialogue” on with the government and that he would update the media about the “conclusive” outcome tomorrow after the second-round of talks.
After reports that civil society was divided on the Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare today announced that he will join Ramdev’s protest on Sunday but cautioned him that the government would “play fraud” by making false promises.
The Core Group of the Congress met at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence where party chief Sonia Gandhi and senior ministers, including Pranab Mukherjee, P Chidambaram, A K Antony and senior leader Ahmed Patel were present.
The party, which had disapproved senior ministers rushing to the airport here yesterday for talks with the yoga guru, left it to the government to deal with the issue in a proper manner.
The youth wing of Bharat Swabhiman Trust has also invited young professionals from across the country to join the Ramdev in the fast. Organisers said young professionals will be descend on Delhi from across the country for the fast.
“Amongst us, we have thousands of professional MBA youths who are willing to support Baba in this satyagraha. Instead of working for corporates, we have made a conscious decision to join Baba in his efforts and bring about a change in the country’s corrupt system,” a youth wing volunteer said.
Thousands of women volunteers from across the country will also assemble at the grounds in the Baba’s support.
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First Published: Thu, Jun 02 2011. 08 18 PM IST