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Baba Ramdev declines Haryana Govt's cabinet minister status offer

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Baba Ramdev declines Haryana Govt's cabinet minister status offer

April 21, 2015

Chandigarh: Yoga guru Ramdev today declined Haryana's offer of cabinet minister status, saying he would rather stay a "baba." He made the announcement at a grand function held by the state government to honour him.

"I'm a sanyaasi, service to humanity is my only objective, I'm not looking for any ministerial position or status. I want to serve you by remaining a baba and a fakir," said Ramdev, speaking at the event in Sonepat.

Sources say the government had anticipated legal hurdles over its plans to grant Ramdev the status and privileges of a minister, so the notification was held back last evening.

The state cabinet had recently taken the decision that would entitle the saffron-robed yoga teacher to a bungalow, security and perks enjoyed by ministers.

The ruling BJP had been sharply attacked in the assembly by the opposition Congress for "going out of its way" to appease Ramdev.

The state government has said that the 49-year-old yoga guru will supervise the setting up of an ayurvedic hospital and an herbal forest spread over thousands of acres of land.

Ramdev, who supported the BJP's national election campaign last year, was named Haryana's brand ambassador soon after the party took charge in the state.

The BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have given prime importance to yoga.

Last week, PM Modi launched a portal for International Day of Yoga while visiting the UNESCO headquarters in France. The UN declared June 21 as World Yoga Day soon after PM Modi suggested it in his address to the UN general assembly last year.

'Want to Remain Baba': Ramdev Declines Haryana Offer of Cabinet Minister Status
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