New Delhi: With noted Gandhian Anna Hazare’s fast entering its eighth day, a worried UPA government went into a huddle to explore ways to break the impasse on the Lokpal issue with the civil society.
The government today held hectic consultations to find a way out of the logjam with Team Anna demanding that it mandate somebody officially for opening a political dialogue on the Lokpal issue.
As per reports, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee held talks with senior ministers, including Sharad Pawar and Vilasrao Deshmukh, both of whom are from Maharashtra, a state from
where Hazare hails.
Deshmukh, as chief minister, has the experience of successfully dealing with the situation arising out of earlier fasts undertaken by Hazare in the state.
Maharashtra Additional Chief Secretary U C Sarangi had held three rounds of talks with Hazare in the last few days and has now gone back to Mumbai.
The parleys Mukherjee held with Pawar and Deshmukh come close on the heels of the talks Sarangi, as also spiritual leader Bhaiyyuji Maharaj, had with Hazare. The spiritual leader is considered close to Deshmukh.
The meeting between Mukherjee and the ministers was held soon after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had a detailed meeting with Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, looking into the Lokpal Bill earlier today.
Separately, Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid today said the Standing Committee looking into the Lokpal Bill can reflect upon the Jan Lokpal Bill, which has been submitted before it by a Congress member.
Khurshid, who was part of ten-member joint committee to draft the Lokpal Bill, said there is no difference in the country on merits and contents of the bill to fight
"It (Jan Lokpal Bill) is a document that has been sent to the Standing Committee. Standing Committee can get any view and can reflect upon it. People who give evidences before the
Committee will point out any formulation that is available before the Committee and Committees can always reflect upon it," Khurshid told reporters outside Parliament House.
He was replying to a question on whether the Standing Committee can examine the contents of Jan Lokpal bill now as Congress member from Bareilly Praveen Singh Aron has
already submitted it before the Committee.
An all-party meeting has been convened tomorrow to discuss the Lokpal issue.