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Updated: August 24, 2011 01:38 IST

Government seems willing to concede Anna's demands

Gargi Parsai
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Social activist Anna Hazare is aided by doctors as his fast against corruption entered the eighth day at the Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Social activist Anna Hazare is aided by doctors as his fast against corruption entered the eighth day at the Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Pranab holds parleys; Team Anna seeks written assurance

In a major breakthrough to end the impasse on the Lokpal Bill, the government seems willing to concede Team Anna's demands for including the Prime Minister within the ambit of the Lokpal, widening the selection process, allowing the Lokpal to cover Members of Parliament subject to Article 105 of the Constitution, and on making the Lokpal, rather than the CBI, the sole agency to investigate corruption. On including the judiciary, Team Anna seems ready to settle for the speedy tabling of a separate law.

After three hours of discussions here that were described as “fruitful” and “constructive,” the government representatives urged Team Anna to persuade the anti-corruption crusader to break his fast that entered the eighth day on Tuesday.

According to Team Anna, the areas of differences are — how to deal with the lower bureaucracy, the need for parallel Lokayuktas in States and preparing a citizen's charter in each government department for time-bound delivery of services.

Members of Anna's team told the government that unless it gave a written commitment on the demand to “table, discuss and pass in this session of Parliament the Jan Lokpal Bill or a Bill that incorporates the principles of the Jan Lokpal Bill,” it would be difficult to convince Mr. Hazare to give up his fast. “If required, the Parliament session should be extended,” they said.

They sought a written assurance from the government on the points of agreement. The discussions will continue on Wednesday, while the Prime Minister will be apprised of the progress made at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs on Tuesday night.

Opposing the move to send the Jan Lokpal Bill to the Parliamentary Standing Committee, Team Anna demanded that the Lokpal Bill be withdrawn, and the Jan Lokpal Bill or an amended Bill incorporating the principles of the Jan Lokpal Bill be introduced, discussed and passed this session itself.

“The outcome of the meeting will be discussed at the all-party meeting on Wednesday,” said Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who was authorised by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to initiate the talks. Besides him, Law Minister Salman Khursheed and East Delhi MP Sandeep Dixit participated in the talks. Team Anna was represented by Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan and Kiran Bedi.

The meeting was set after Dr. Singh made an appeal to Mr. Hazare to give up his fast, even as the social activist ignored the advice of doctors for an intravenous drip and warned the government against trying to forcibly evict him from the protest site, where thousands of his people braved sudden rain to express solidarity with him.

On a day of fast developments, the government broke the ice with Team Anna with an informal meeting between Mr. Khursheed and Mr. Kejriwal at Mr. Dixit's house.

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In corrupt environment,an honest person(anna hazare) has a tough time.whereas in an honest environment,the corrupt one has a tough time(chidambaram, manmohan singh).

from:  Shanmugavani
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 17:05 IST

annana we and Krishna Deo Mishra from Banaras Hindu University ,are with you.

Anna Tum Sangharsh Karo Hum Tumahare Sath hai...........


from:  alok ranjan rai
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 17:03 IST

i am congratulation to success your goal.........

from:  raja
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 12:24 IST

It is an unbelievable moment to have the Lok pal bill on Anna's terms in India's History! Wish it becomes a LAW soon and we rejoice Anna back in our midst with full health!

from:  SS Kommu
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 10:55 IST

I am a resident of Calcutta. I have one Civil suit (Appeal) pending under WB Premises Tenancy Act 1997. All the time I go to Alipore District Court on the dates or other wise, i have to grease the palm of Court clerks/ 'peshkars'. You apply for a certfied copy of an ORDER, You have to give bribe to the copying department. Complaint to District Judge or Register fails to yeild any effective result. They told that this practice is going on since British period even Mughal period. The Judicial officers can't help or disinclined to take any step against this evil practice. Corruption swells under the nose of judiciary. Could this menace be stopped? Does the Chief Justice of India take any measure to stop this extortion?

from:  Indrajit Paul
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 10:43 IST

Governments initiative proves that Team Anna's approach was right and all the tall talk of many intelligent people that Anna's approach is wrong proved useless. Surely this is not enough we also want to have Lokayuktas in the states, a seperate bill for judges and most a RIGHT TO RECALL BILL.

from:  Xavier Surender
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 10:39 IST

To concede with the genuine perceptions of Anna Hazare is not be construed as a downfall of prestige to Parliament and the government must dispel such misguiding apprehensions by antagonists of democratic foundations mainly from certain pergolas of political parties. Despite a belated realization, rather the government will elevate its prestige for understanding the pulse of people’s aspirations.

from:  Madan Menon Thottasseri
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 10:00 IST

Happy to hear that Indian Central Government has come down for the Jan Lokpall Bill amendment. As said the Govt. should give in writing and till it is passed strongly in Parliament the protest must not be withdrawn. We strongly support Anna Hazare.

from:  Shankar
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 09:47 IST

I am really surprised where is Mr Rahul Gandhi? What he is doing being a icon of future congress? He often visits rural India to make some nonsense politics and to get vote for their party. Is he really farther about poorest man of the country? I don't think so. He haven't made a single comment on Anna's fast and support. It is really a paining issue.

from:  Shanmuagm
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 08:51 IST

So finally the government gave in. It sends a wrong signal that coercive and arm-twisting methods work to the extent that a democratically elected dispensation can be rendered subservient to the diktat of a fly-by-night, upstart civil society organization which will now feel emboldened to organize similar protests on some other issues challenging the authority of those supposed to govern them.

from:  Mukul Kanti Dutta
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 08:23 IST

Hazare's methods are nothing but coercive and intimidating. "My way or the highway" seems to be his slogan. No one wants corruption and this scourge has to be met head on. Started with the best of intentions by Hazare the movement seems to be slipping into grave territory. The government knows that all this can lead to public disorder and needless loss of lives. Such measures can very well be adopted by others and bring the Government to a standstill. Is that what Hazare wants?

from:  Ven Sardiv
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 03:30 IST

I do not understand why the government changed its mind. Already enough damage is caused to Anna's health, after 8 days of Fast. People will lose respect for a Govt, which dithers and delays on its decisions. Already there were many meetings between the two parties, during the drafting of Lokpal Bill. Why did the govt. table such a weak bill in the first place? There is dearth of statesman like leadership in the ruling party.

from:  K K Sastry
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 03:26 IST

True colors of saffron politics. None of them are really in favor of anti- corruption bill. Every one wants to have an appearance to be on the side of people but really want to be in power. Shame.

from:  Bhupendra Rajpura
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 03:21 IST

I think its time for Anna Hazare to give up his fast. These are crucial times, any hasty decision may prove costly in the future.

from:  ajay
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 02:48 IST

I cannot understand why the government and Anna team are having closed door meetings and negotiations at this stage. Need of the hour is to hold discussions under camera, so that we also understand technically what is going on and who is right or wrong?

from:  Ravi Bhat
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 02:05 IST
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