Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Thursday appealed to Civil rights activist Anna Hazare, who is on an indefinite fast vis-à-vis Jan Lokpal, to end the stir as his life was much too precious.
The government, which was open to persuasion and had an open mind on the issue, would discuss in the parliament, respecting its supremacy, his suggestions on the Lokpal, along with the Bills/views mooted by the government, and activists, Aruna Roy and Dr. Jaiprakash Narayan.
"All ideas should be discussed so that we have a (Lokpal) Bill which is the best possible Bill, which will help us to deal with the problem of corruption."
Dr. Singh, who was replying in the Lok Sabha, to the short duration discussion on "widespread corruption" said: "...We could have a debate in this House on all the (Lokpal) Bills that are in the public domain and discuss their strong and weak points and send the whole record (of debate) for consideration of the parliament standing committee (which is to consider the government’s Lokpal Bill)."
Expressing concern over the health of Mr. Anna, whose fast in Delhi had entered the 10th day on Thursday, Dr. Singh wanted the House to join him in appealing to him to end the fast. "..He (Mr. Anna) has made his point (on Jan Lokpal). It has been registered with us. I respect his idealism. I respect him as an individual. He has become the embodiment of our people’s disgust and concern about tackling corruption. I applaud him, I salute him. His life is much too precious and therefore, I would urge Mr. Anna to end his fast."
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, joined him in making the appeal.
The Standing Committee could consider all the options and the Parliament could find ways and means of ensuring that the Bill that had been prepared by Mr. Anna was given due consideration by this Committee, along with the of Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan’s group and Ms. Aruna Roy. "All these matters can be debated and a consensus built up in the Committee. We are open to all suggestions. We will work with all sections of this House to have a Lokpal, who is strong, effective and about which there is a national consensus."
The government would have "a single minded devotion to ensure that we leave behind for posterity a Lokpal Bill which does credit to our concerns for meeting the challenge of corruption."
The parliamentary discussion on the Bills before sending the views to the standing committee "is one via media which will respect the parliamentary supremacy and, at the same time, enable the Parliament to take on board ideas contained in the Lokpal Bill drafted by Mr. Anna and his colleagues."