Lokpal: Govt in a huddle after Hazare’s attack

Amid growing differences with civil society members on the proposed Lokpal Bill, Government Thursday a series of meetings to formulate a strategy to handle the ticklish issue.

New Delhi: Amid growing differences with
civil society members on the proposed Lokpal Bill, Government Thursday a series of meetings to formulate a strategy to handle the ticklish issue.

Union Minister Kapil Sibal and AICC general secretary
Digvijay Singh met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hours after
Anna Hazare accused the UPA of "playing tricks" with people of
the country and questioned the rationale behind sending two
versions of Lokpal Bill to the Cabinet for consideration.
However, both the leaders remained tightlipped on what
transpired in the meeting. The Group of Ministers on Media
also met at noon and is learnt to have decided to follow a
`wait and watch` policy to the unfolding situation and not be
hurried in its response.

A day after the "deadlocked" meeting of the joint
drafting committee on Lokpal Bill, Hazare alleged that
government was "playing tricks" and he would have to restart
protest if a "weak" anti-corruption legislation is cleared by
the government.
After the government and civil society failed to
achieve any common ground at the sixth meeting yesterday, it
was decided to forward two versions of the Bill to the Cabinet
for its consideration.

Digvijay Singh, however, objected to the remarks
saying the government has an "open mind" but the civil society
members should also understand that there is a Parliament that
frames rules.

Dismissing suggestions that the government was
pre-determined on the issue, he said that there would have
been no joint drafting committee had this been the case.

PTI

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