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Updated: August 29, 2011 15:39 IST

Manmohan takes stock of situation, goes into huddle with senior leaders

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Supporters of Anna Hazare during a rally at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
The Hindu
Supporters of Anna Hazare during a rally at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday had a meeting with some of the senior Congress leaders, including Ministers, to take stock of the situation arising out of the fast by anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare.

Immediately on his return from Kolkata, Dr. Singh exchanged views with the Congress core team on the fast-moving developments, especially the growing support for the anti-corruption campaign from sections of society.

A senior leader conceded that the government has a tough situation to deal with. He, however, maintained that it was not practical to expect any dramatic move to meet the “unreasonable demands” made by Team Anna.

With Parliament scheduled to resume its session on Tuesday and the nationwide protest called by nine political parties, including the Left, for Tuesday, the government is preparing to face a strident Opposition in both Houses.

“The Prime Minister has already gone on record that the government is ready for a debate on the subject of corruption in Parliament. If there is a debate and the exigencies of the situation warrant, Dr. Singh will respond,” the leader said.

In his address at the golden jubilee celebrations of the Indian Institute of Management (Calcutta) during the day, Dr. Singh dwelt at length on the issue of corruption, saying that it was wrong to argue that it was the consequence of the economic liberalisation.

As for the debate on need for a strong Lokpal, Dr. Singh said: “It has long been argued that we need an institution like the Lokpal. We have introduced a Bill in Parliament, which is now before the Standing Committee. There are differences of view on the details of the Bill. We have made it clear that all individuals concerned should convey their concerns on different aspects of the Bill to their representatives in Parliament and to the Standing Committee. The Committee has the power to propose any amendment. We are open to a reasoned debate.”

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Why government hurridly tabled its version of Lokpal bill in ongoing session without any of the demands met by the civil society proposed in that. If it covers Anna team proposed most of the items except few one situation would be different from the present and there is no need for carry out hunger strike by Gandhian. Government has to have a serious look on Jan Lokpal keeping the view of recent scams tookpalce witnessed by PM and his government. Opposition parties suspecting that still several scams occurred in this government which weighs more than 2G. To expose these needs some time or wait for competent authorities to submit their reports to throw more light on that by givins some evidential documents. PM has to take courageous step which he shown in passing the nuclear bill that sought of condience and covience needed and required here in passing the Jan Lokapl bill. Which has been prepared by civil society with reasonable negotiation in excluding some offices proposed by governme

from:  Raghavendra R Pawar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:24 IST

Govt. shouldn't give in to the undemocratic demands of the self minted saint. The supremacy of Parliament must be respected to preserve our democratic edifice.

from:  Thomas Vech
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 10:16 IST

"We are open to a reasoned debate"? The problem is, we have lost faith in the government and the ruling party. And all because of them. So far their actions have been dishonest, insincere, and for namesake. They were fudging and procrastinating. They have given us no reason to believe that they are honest and sincere now or that they will show any meaningful results in the near future.

from:  Venkat
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:49 IST

It will be nice on the part of the government to consider the janmat lokpal bill and should incorporate its reasonable clause with the government lokpal bill.

from:  Dr. Anil Kumar Sinha
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:37 IST

"All individuals concerned should convey their concerns on different aspects of the Bill to their representatives in Parliament and to the Standing Committee." We the people of India are sick and tired of this repeated preaching. Dr. Singh should have realized by now most of the people have no faith in the totally discredited rulers It is incredible that the Congress leaders have not realized of their abysmal low esteem among the people after their repeated defense of scam tainted people in the pretext of coalition dharma! The only honourable option left for Dr. Manmohan Singh is to resign and face the electorate with his version of anti corruption bill as the central election manifesto.

from:  N.G. Krishnan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:35 IST

While Hazare is doing a good job in raising the issue, he must understand that we are living in a democratic society and a parliamentary system. Everybody in the government and the opposition wants a practical bill under constitution. Instead of crying like a baby (Like I want this, this only, I will not talk to others except PM and AICC secretary) he must come to terms with parliamentary system. He is acting like an opposition leader instaed of a real leader. Mr. Hazare, Don't go down like that. Try to influence and win over even your opposition with principled, articulate and democratic way. Act above the other "politicians" if you are a real Gandhian. Please Hazare do the right thing of showing some leadership in democratic principles. By the way, it's natural right of the people of India to know about the source of financial support for the campaign.

from:  M Nediyakala
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 07:10 IST

Anna's movement is only a fountain head of the volcano underneath, that was in the making all these years!There is no harm that will come to the Congress party,if only they will USE THE 'good'from a 'bad'experience, that cost them power at the center,after the imposition of "Emergency".Use that 'speed', to enact a workable Lok Pal Bill, in consultation with all the political parties.Center's earnestness, coupled with the speed,will certainly diffuse the current, 'charged',atmosphere,and the Team Anna may not doggedly stick to 30th August Deadline.However the govt should not try any trick to circumvent the popular sentiment, but act to eradicate the cancer from our midst.

from:  K P Natarajan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 07:07 IST

The government is just playing 'lip service' to the anti-corruption platform. Our MPs and MLAs want corruption as that is the reason they got elected. They are not interested in serving the people. They will make all suitable noises but their objective is well defined. Unless we kick them out and have a new electoral process, corruption can not be removed. Let us be clear about our >priorities. Team Anna seems to have got it's priorities wrong.

from:  S N IYER
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 06:22 IST
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