Congress on Monday supported Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statements for a “reasoned debate” on the Lokpal Bill and that there is a “lot of scope for give and take” on the issue.

“Congress supports the views expressed by Prime Minister at the meeting of the Planning Commission here on Saturday and at the function at the IIM Kolkata today on the issue of Lokpal,” AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told PTI.

His remarks came soon after the Prime Minister in a fresh bid to end the week-long standoff with Team Anna said in Kolkata that Government is open to a “reasoned debate” on the Lokpal Bill and that the Parliamentary panel examining it can propose changes.

On Saturday, the Prime Minister had said there was a “lot of scope for give and take” on the Lokpal Bill and the government was open to “discussion and dialogue” on the issue.

Answering questions from the media at the conclusion of the full meeting of the Planning Commission here, the Prime Minister had said, “We are open to discussion and dialogue. We like a broad national consensus to emerge. We are all in favour of a Lokpal, which is strong and which is effective.”

Dr. Singh made similar remarks in Kolkata on Monday while attending the golden jubilee function of the Indian Institute of Management there.

“We are open to a reasoned debate on all these issues,” he said. “We have made it clear that all concerned individuals should convey their concern on different aspects of the bill to their representatives in Parliament and to the standing committee”, he said adding “The Standing Committee has the power to propose any amendment”.

Team Anna has been insisting that the government version of the Lokpal Bill was weak and would only encourage corruption.

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