Govt may talk to Hazare, PM discusses with Cab colleagues

Last Updated: Thursday, April 7, 2011 - 00:22

New Delhi: With social activist Anna Hazare
undertaking fast-unto-death for Jan Lokpal Bill, Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday discussed with some Cabinet
colleagues the issue after which indications emerged that one
or two ministers could be nominated to talk to him.
Singh discussed the matter with some ministers soon
after the Cabinet meeting here, sources told agency.



The general sense at the informal confabulations was
that there was a need to defuse the situation that had arisen
due to the fast-unto-death campaign launched yesterday which
is getting support from the increasing number of people, the
sources said.



It was felt that one or two ministers or representatives
could be nominated to meet Hazare to discuss his demands and
persuade him to call off his agitation, they said.



The timing of deputing the nominees was not clear yet.



Earlier in the day, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said
the Government was open to any suggestion on the proposed
legislation and had not turned down his demand for a joint
committee.



"Even on the demand for joint committee, we said we
were open. We never closed our mind even on the formation of
joint committee...In principle we did not say no," he said
adding, that the Prime Minister was open to all suggestions on
the bill.
He said though the bill has already been drafted, it
will not "find a finality" unless it goes to Parliamentary
Standing Committee.



"The Standing Committee can always throw it open to
discussions and deliberations with everyone. No bill is passed
in hide and seek manner. Parliament has the most transparent
way of functioning in our country," Moily said.



Hazare is demanding enactment of Jan Lokpal Bill as the
legislation proposed by the government was not adequate and
lacked teeth. He has maintained that a joint committee,
comprising representatives of the government and civil
society, should be set up to firm up the bill.



Government has already set up a sub-group of four
ministers within the Group of Ministers on anti-corruption to
take on board the suggestions of civil society.



PTI




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