Ujjain (MP): Changing his stance, Yog Guru Baba Ramdev on Wednesday played a volte-face by saying that he never said that Prime Minister and Chief Justice of India should not be brought under the ambit of the proposed Lokpal Bill.

He also said that he was firm on going ahead with his planned indefinite fast against corruption in Delhi from June 4, despite government's requests to put off the fast.

"I did not say that the proposed Lokpal Bill should not cover the Prime Minister and CJI as their posts are highly dignified," Ramdev told reporters after ending his one lakh km
Bharat Swabhiman Yatra here.

"Keeping the PM and CJI out of the Lokpal's ambit was never my personal opinion," he said, adding that there were talks in the public that these posts should not come under the ambit of Lokpal bill.

Ramdev said in Madhya Pradesh's Sehore district on Tuesday that the Prime Minister and CJI should not come under the ambit of Lokpal given that these posts were highly dignified.

Baba also praised the CJI, saying that the judiciary in the country was very active.

When asked to comment on Anna Hazare's statement praising the Prime Minister, he said he was not a spokesman of the anti-graft crusader. "We are companions," he said.

He said that even though the government representatives were urging him to put off his proposed fast, he would go ahead with the fast. A meeting of our people is taking place
over the fast in Delhi, he said.

"I want that the huge black money stashed in foreign banks should be brought back to India. I want to free the country of corruption", he said.

Nervous govt sends 3 ministers to receive Ramdev at Airport

Worried over Baba Ramdev's threat to go on fast, the government on Wednesday took the unprecedented step of sending three senior ministers to receive the yoga guru at the airport here in a bid to persuade him not to go ahead with the protest.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay parked themselves at the Indira Gandhi International Airport
much before the scheduled arrival of Ramdev from Madhya Pradesh.

Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekar was also along with the Ministers.

Ramdev was to fly here from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh to meet Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee who has been deputed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to persuade the yoga guru against going ahead with his fast from June 4.

The Prime Minister has already gone the extra mile to persuade Ramdev not to go ahead with his hunger strike, promising him to find a "practical and pragmatic" solution to
tackle the issue of corruption.

Singh has written a letter 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".

Ramdev flew in by a special chartered plane from Ujjain. Mukherjee was likely to reach the airport to hold talks with Ramdev there itself.

Agencies