While accepting the offer of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for a dialogue on ending the impasse on the formulation of the Lokpal legislation, Anna Hazare on Sunday not only widened the agitation by calling on his supporters to confront individual Members of Parliament and Union Ministers at their homes but also warned the UPA government that its days would be numbered if it failed to pass the Bill by August 30.

Following up on the Prime Minister's offer on Saturday for talks, the Centre has launched a backchannel effort to work out a solution with the fasting anti-corruption crusader, but Team Anna said no formal approach had been made.

The government on Saturday indicated informally that it would like four months' time to take a decision on the matter after a thorough discussion, a suggestion Mr. Hazare's supporters turned down immediately.

Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal denied the possibility of any reconciliation. “They have not accepted even the smallest of suggestions made in the Jan Lokpal Bill. The government has just reworded the proposals already present in its Lokpal draft. There is no question of any pact with the government as of now.”

Mr. Hazare's supporters held a rally from India Gate to the Ramlila grounds, where Mr. Hazare's fast entered the sixth day, while several others — responding to the call of Team Anna — staged dharnas in front of the homes of several Union Ministers. At least 80 demonstrators were arrested when they sought to stage a sit-in in front of the Prime Minister's residence on Race Course Road.

Mr. Hazare addressed his supporters twice, in the morning and in the evening. In the morning, he said the doors were open for talks, but in his evening speech Mr. Hazare issued a warning to the UPA government.

He said the agitation would be intensified after August 30 if the government failed to pass the Bill. “The government will have to accept because the people have awakened. If not, you will have to go. You do what you want to, we too are prepared to launch an agitation which the country has not seen before.”

Earlier in the day, Mr. Hazare said the doors had not been closed for talks, expressing his willingness to hold talks with the government in response to the olive branch held out by the Prime Minister on Saturday.

He said the doors had been kept open and only through a dialogue could issues be resolved.

Mr. Hazare said even if the Prime Minister was brought within the ambit of the Lokpal, the Jan Lokpal Bill had to be taken up for consideration in Parliament and till the Bill was passed there would be no going back on the protest.

Meanwhile, in what is being viewed as a backchannel effort at talks, Maharashtra Additional Chief Secretary Umesh Chandra Sarangi interacted with Mr. Hazare twice during the past 24 hours, but Mr. Kejriwal maintained that nothing constructive had been proposed as a breakthrough.

RELATED NEWS

Novel fast against corruptionAugust 22, 2011

‘Acceptable to all’ Lokpal Bill within 3 months: SinghviAugust 22, 2011

Manmohan takes stock of situation, goes into huddle with senior leaders August 22, 2011

Ministers, MPs face ‘aam aadmi’ protestAugust 22, 2011

Picketing houses not the right method: Congress MPs August 21, 2011

Government ropes in Pawar to resolve imbroglio August 21, 2011

CPI(M) against Hazare's method of agitationAugust 21, 2011

I'd rather not be AnnaAugust 21, 2011

Sarangi meets Hazare to find points of consensus and defuse crisisAugust 21, 2011

In India, civil and political movements warm to social mediaAugust 21, 2011

80 detained for protesting near PM’s residence August 21, 2011

Jan Lokpal Bill regressive: Arundhati RoyAugust 30, 2011

Public support for Hazare will continue: HegdeAugust 21, 2011

Govt. not concerned about Anna’s health: BediAugust 21, 2011

Hazare promises to fight land grab August 20, 2011

Hazare group's methods annoy Aruna Roy, others August 20, 2011

Manmohan: scope for give-and-take on Lokpal BillAugust 20, 2011

‘No time limit can be specified on Lokpal Bill’August 20, 2011

Anna is not India nor India AnnaAugust 20, 2011

Our fight goes beyond Lokpal: Anna HazareAugust 19, 2011

Fast may go beyond 15 days: Arvind Kejriwal August 19, 2011

U.S. not behind Anna's agitation, says McCainAugust 19, 2011

Team Anna may not insist on bringing judiciary under LokpalAugust 18, 2011

Team Anna to govt.: Withdraw Bill, will talkAugust 21, 2011

Seek fresh mandate, Advani tells ManmohanAugust 21, 2011

Parents bring children to witness ‘second freedom struggle'August 22, 2011

Ready for talks with Centre's representative or Manmohan: Team Anna August 22, 2011

More In: National | News | Delhi