Civil society hails deal between Govt and Hazare
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Last Updated: Thursday, August 18, 2011, 12:56
  
New Delhi: Civil society activists on Thursday hailed the agreement between government and Anna Hazare for holding his fast at Ramlila Maidan and demanded that the Jan Lokpal Bill at least be brought to Parliament which could take a call on it.

Expressing happiness at the turn of events, close associate of Hazare and former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan said the decision to allow Hazare to fast for 15 days showed that his demands were reasonable and that the government should bring in a new Lokpal Bill after consulting the Gandhian.

"I am very happy that ultimately good sense has prevailed on the government and it has agreed to permit Anna to fast for 15 days and that shows that Anna was never unreasonable in his demands," Bhushan said.

He said the whole country knows that Hazare has maintained that if not 100 per cent, 60-65 per cent of corruption would be stopped through a strong Lokpal.

Swami Agnivesh hailed the decision to allow Hazare's fast at Ramlila Maidan as a "victory" of the people in the campaign against corruption.

"It is gratifying to note that government has relented and allowed the fast by Hazare without any conditions and at the chosen venue of Ramlila Maidan," he said.

Activist Arvind Kejriwal, expressing happiness over the decision, said the battle has just begun and they are "prepared for it".

Lawyer and Hazare team member Prashant Bhushan said their demand is that government should at least table the Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament.

"Our demand is very clear. The government should at least table the Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament. Once it is tabled then, let Parliament take a call on that.

"Fasting is a means of arousing conscience of the people, authorities and the government. Even if the government's conscience is not aroused, the conscience of the common man is being aroused given the fact that millions of people are supporting the movement," he said.

Janata Party president Subramanian Swami welcomed the agreement between government and Team Anna. "In a democracy, there has to be give and take when negotiations take place without sacrificing fundamentals. Then there will always be another day to take up other left out demands. This is the Gandhian way."

Shanti Bhushan also said that Team Hazare has never contested Parliament's authority to pass laws. "What we are saying is that Parliament should pass a bill in accordance with the aspirations of the people."

He said the Team Hazare wants a "strong" Lokpal which will be accountable to Supreme Court. "If there is any complaint against any member of Lokpal then the Supreme Court will look into it."

After two nights in Tihar Jail and hard bargaining, Hazare and government reached an agreement early this morning under which Delhi Police removed all restrictions and allowed him to carry out his hunger strike for a fortnight in the spacious Ramlila Maidan.

The breakthrough in the battle of attribution between the two sides came in the wee hours of the day after top aides of Hazare met Delhi Police Commissioner B K Gupta and reached an agreement.

The deal marks a major climbdown from government and police's earlier insistence that the fast would be allowed at JP Park, a smaller venue, only for three days with maximum of 5,000 protesters besides a number of other conditions.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, August 18, 2011, 12:56


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