Team Anna holds talks with govt; presents fresh draft

A TV grab of Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid and civil society member Arvind Kejriwal. Photo: PTI  

Hectic efforts to break the deadlock over Lokpal were on for the second day today as Team Anna presented a fresh draft for consideration by the government.

Even as both sides have differences on three contentious issues, Team Anna submitted a draft which will be taken to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the chief government negotiator, sources said.

After the 90-minute meeting, both sides maintained that the discussions were good but declined to go into specifics of their deliberations.

Three members of Team Anna - Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Prashant Bhushan - held talks with Law Minister Salman Khurshid, who was accompanied by East Delhi MP Sandeep Dikshit and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s close aide Pawan Khera.

“It was a very good meeting but there is nothing concrete,” Mr. Khurshid said.

“There is no resolution as of now. Talks are continuing. There will be further discussions,” Mr. Bhushan said.

Team Anna members will meet government negotiators soon after the all-party meeting scheduled this afternoon.

Ms. Bedi said there was no forward movement on three sticky issues - citizen’s charter, inclusion of lower bureaucracy and setting up of Lokayukta in state through Lokpal.

Earlier in the day, Hazare stuck to the three issues and said he will continue his fast till all his demands are met.

As his indefinite hunger strike demanding a strong Lokpal Bill entered the ninth day, he said the government has no intention to eradicate corruption even today and it is not honest in its effort in this regard.

“Yesterday, the government agreed to our demands but kept a decision pending on three issues,” a frail-looking Hazare told the gathering at Ramlila Maidan where he is sitting on fast. “If the demands are not met, I have decided that I will fight till my last breath,” he said.

Meanwhile, concerns over Hazare’s health mounted after he refused doctors’ advice to be be put on an intravenous drip once again this morning even though he has increased his intake of fluid.

The 74-year-old anti-corruption crusader has lost another 200 grams in the past 24 hours with his weight settling at 66.2 kg. He was 72 kg before he began his fast on August 16.

His blood pressure was recorded at 104/86 while blood sugar was 106 and pulse rate 82.

“After his intake of fluid was increased, his health has stabilised. We have put the team of doctors on full alert. We are keeping a strict vigil on his health,” Dr. Naresh Trehan told reporters at the Ramlila Ground after examining him.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 2:18:34 PM |

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