Denying that the government had changed its stand since its talks with Team Anna on Tuesday, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said three demands had been placed before him: withdrawal of the Lokpal Bill, tabling of the Jan Lokpal draft in Parliament and the swift passage of the latter with at best minor amendments without any reference to the Standing Committee.
“I said I would check with the Prime Minister and get back to them,” Mr. Mukherjee told NDTV in an interview just after midnight. “Today [Wednesday], I told them it would not be possible to accept their demands.”
He added that the Standing Committee would consider the Jan Lokpal draft and recommend changes in the official Bill which would then be taken up in Parliament.
Union Law Minister Salman Khursheed said the differences with Team Anna were more about procedure than content. The government had taken a view that the standard parliamentary procedures had to be followed.