Lokpal Bill: Anna continues fast; compromise likely

There were indications of progress in talks with the government on the proposed formation of a committee for drafting the Lokpak Bill.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: “We have sent the final draft of the Lokpal Bill to the government. It will respond to the draft tomorrow,” said social activist Anna Hazare on Friday evening, adding that his fast unto death will continue for the time being.

Even as Anna addressed the public there were indications of progress in talks with the government with the emissaries of the veteran Gandhian on the proposed formation of a committee for drafting the Lokpak Bill. The emissaries said that Anna will soon convey his decision to the people, something which should make them happy. This announcement was made after another round of talks with the government on Friday evening.

The government started talks with the civil society leaders after Anna Hazare became the catalyst of a mass movement against corruption with his fast-unto-death to demand a stringent anti-corruption bill.

"We are going with the (government`s) draft to Anna (Hazare), who will take the decision and announce further... I can only say that you will be happy to hear it (the decision). I can only give this indication," Swami Agnivesh told reporters after talks with Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Friday evening.

Social activists Swami Agnivesh, Arvind Kejriwal and former top cop Kiran Bedi earlier held their third round of talks with Sibal, the government`s representative, following the initiation of dialogue on Thursday.

"In the afternoon, we received one draft from the government. We sent our draft. We came here to discuss it. The government (then) gave another draft, which we are taking to Anna for the final decision," he said.

The government has agreed to form a joint committee to draft a new bill and also have an equal number of representatives from the government and civil society on the panel.

However, there has been no consensus on who would head it and whether an official notification would be issued on the formation of the committee.

In the evening, Anna Hazare announced that joint panel will have two chairpersons, but continued to remain adamant on the notification.

With IANS Inputs

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