Govt may talk to Hazare, PM discusses with Cab colleagues
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Last Updated: Thursday, April 07, 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.


First Published: Thursday, April 07, 2011, 00:22

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