Govt sends proposal, Team Anna says no

Deadlock continued between the UPA and Team Anna over the issue of a strong Lokpal on Sunday, with the civil society group rejecting a peace formula proposed by the government.

Last Updated: Aug 22, 2011, 00:09 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Deadlock continued between the UPA and Team Anna over the issue of a strong Lokpal on Sunday, with the civil society group rejecting a peace formula proposed by the government.

Team Anna said the government today sent a peace proposal to them which they have rejected as it does not meet any of their demands.

Waving a sheet of paper at the Ramlila Maidan, Arvind Kejriwal said there was nothing new in the government proposal. It was unacceptable to the team, he added.

"We have received a proposal from the government which is nothing but the government`s Lokpal Bill. None of our demands has been included. There is no agreement between civil society and government," he told Hazare`s supporters.

Kejriwal also dismissed media reports of an agreement reached between the civil society and government, terming them as false.

Indore-based spiritual leader Baiyujji Maharaj, who held talks with Hazare in the morning, said no agreement has been reached between the two sides.

Government sources said Baiyujji Maharaj, who also met Union minister Kapil Sibal, has emerged as a main negotiator between the government and Team Anna.

After his meetings, Baiyujji said "initial" talks have taken place between him and Sibal and Hazare.

"Views of all should be considered and it should be seen which issues are important. There should be no objection to it. Besides all viewpoints should be considered in a positive
manner," Baiyujji, who is known to several top politicians from Maharashtra, told TV channels.

Seeking middle ground

According to reports, the government is working hard to make peace with the civil society group which is fighting for a strong Lokpal and has received unprecedented nationwide support.

Sources said the government is going to have further deliberations on the proposal when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh returns to the national capital from Kolkata.

The government, which is trying to work upon a middle ground, is likely to make an announcement on the issue in Parliament on Tuesday, said sources.

The government has already said that it has started a dialogue process with Team Anna at various levels to end the impasse over the contentious Lokpal Bill.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Harish Rawat said, "The dialogue process has already been initiated at various levels through well-wishers. This dialogue is at various levels which is not parallel to each other but complimentary to each other," Rawat said.

Also, a senior Maharashtra government official thrice met Gandhian Anna Hazare at the Ramlila Maidan, where he is on an indefinite hunger strike demanding a strong Lokpal.

Maharashtra Additional Chief Secretary Umesh Chandra Sarangi first visited Hazare on Saturday night and then again today. In his third meeting tonight, Sarangi is reported to
have carried an amended proposal of the government.

Team Anna ruled out any compromise on its demand for bringing Prime Minister and higher judiciary within Lokpal`s ambit.

Sarangi shares a good rapport with Hazare, having handled several such situations in Maharashtra when the anti-corruption crusader had gone on fast or threatened to do so.

Ready for talks

Hazare, who earlier in the day expressed his willingness
to have a dialogue on the Lokpal issue with the government,
upped the ante in the night when he warned of "unprecedented
revolution" in the country if Lokpal Bill is not passed by
August 30. Raising his voice, he said the government will have
to "either get the Bill passed or go".

A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that
the government was open for discussion, Hazare said his
campaign against corruption has not closed the door of
dialogue with it to resolve the differences on Lokpal Bill.

"We have not closed the door of dialogue. We have kept
it open. Only through dialogue the issues can be resolved. The
people in the government have not come from England. They are
our own people but they have turned into traitors," he
told thousands of his supporters on a humid day at Ramlila
Ground on the sixth day of his fast.

The core committee of `India Against Corruption` had a
meeting during which its deliberated Prime Minister`s
readiness to hold discussions.

Both Hazare and Kejriwal also asked their supporters to
hold dharnas in front of houses of MPs in their constituencies
and demand written commitments in support of Jan Lokpal Bill.

"The dharna should also cover ministers and leaders of
various political parties," they said.

Swami Agnivesh, one of the members of Team Anna`s core
committee, said they were open for talks but the government
should create an atmosphere for it.