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Anna offers olive branch to govt

Anna reminded that differences could be resolved through dialogue.



New Delhi: Amid a war of words between
government and civil society members over Lokpal Bill, both
sides will meet here on Wednesday for its drafting even as Anna
Hazare on Tuesday reminded the ministers that differences could be
resolved through dialogue and not through confrontation.

As the government and Congress continued its attack on
the civil society members, Hazare said he cannot force anyone
not to level allegations like he was a mask of RSS or BJP by
putting a hand on their mouth, but said the civil society has
every right to raise issues.

The activists, who have shot off letters to Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee,
will push for the inclusion of Prime Minister, judiciary and
MPs under the ambit of the Lokpal, an issue on which
government is at loggerheads with the civil society.

"Differences can be resolved through talks but not
through confrontation. We feel that the government has
accepted some of our demands and a lot more needs to be done.

There is time till June 30," he told reporters here. "If
nothing happens, we will see then," he added.

He said the civil society will put forth their views
during tomorrow`s meeting and if their demands were not met,
then they will start their agitation again.

The last meeting on June six was boycotted by the
civil society side to protest police crackdown on Ramdev`s
protest. Congress has called Hazare an "unelected tyrant"
while the civil society has taken exception to Mukherjee`s
remarks that they were undermining democracy.

Asked about allegations that he was associated with
RSS and BJP, Hazare said, "how can I put hand on their mouth
(and prevent them from making allegations)? In my lifetime, I
have never gone close to any political party. Every party is
similar. Some are graduates in corruption while some others
have got doctorates in corruption."

Queried whether he considered BJP a corrupt party, he
evaded direct reply and said, "why should I say, you people
know."

On Congress` allegation that the civil society was
undermining democracy, he said the civil society has become
the masters of the country when it turned republic.

Emphasising that the government has to listen to
people`s opinion, he said there was nothing wrong in civil
society highlighting issues as the government is a
representative of the citizens and are answerable.

"We do not deny that Parliament is a big institution.
But Parliament is not in Delhi alone. Have a look at the
Constitution. The village parliament is bigger than the
Parliament in Delhi. Nobody thinks about it. Who has send them
to Parliament?" he said.

Hazare also said there is so much corruption. "People
in the government act like kings. Thats why people should
reflect on Congress leader Digvijay Singh said about bringing
Prime Minister under the ambit of the Lokpal Bill. It is noy
just Anna Hazare`s question," he said.

Asked why they were not pulling out the drafting
commitee as there was so much of mistrust, Kejriwal said they
have to work with this. "At least, we can put on record our
dissent note," he said.

PTI

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