Anna Hazare’s fast-unto-death entered the fourth day on Friday even as anti-corruption activists waited for a communication from the government over holding another round of talks to iron out differences over notifying formation of a joint committee to draft an effective Lokpal Bill.
Social activist Swami Agnivesh told PTI, “We are waiting for a communication from the government side.On Thursday, it was informally agreed that we will met around 9 a.m. We have not got any formal communication”.
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal had said that two sides would be meeting on Friday morning for the third round of talks.
“The two sides had agreed on almost all issues but there is no agreement on two issues, that is issuing an official notification to form the committee and making Mr. Hazare the chairman of the committee. So we need more time and we will meet again tomorrow and see we can evolve a procedure with which we can move ahead,” he had said on Thursday.
Three of the five demands raised by Mr. Hazare and his supporters have been met by the government. These are formation of a joint committee with five members each from government and civil society, immediate setting up of the panel and bringing the Bill in Monsoon session.
However, government did not agree to the demands of the activists that Hazare be made the chairman of the joint committee and issuing an official notification for the constitution of the committee.
A close aide of Mr. Hazare said the 71-year-old activist was in good health though there he was feeling weak. “We are waiting for the results of third round of talks,” the aide said.
Last night, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had appealed to Mr. Hazare to end the fast. “I am sure that Hazareji’s views will receive the government’s full attention as we move forward to fight this menace. I appeal to Anna to give up his fast,” Ms. Gandhi had said in her appeal.
Mr. Hazare had asked Ms. Gandhi to tell her government to get the Lokpal bill enacted at the earliest.
“I will fight till death,” Mr. Hazare had said addressing hundreds of supporters gathered near Jantar Mantar here after word spread that talks between government and anti-corruption activists were deadlocked.
Expressing dissatisfaction over the government’s reluctance to come out with a notification to constitute the committee, he said his fast will continue.