Section of govt inclined to notify joint committee on Lokpal

Hazare, whose hunger strike completed the third day, has been insisting that he would accept nothing less than formation of a joint committee comprising representatives of the government and civil society.

Last Updated: Apr 07, 2011, 23:41 PM IST

New Delhi: A section of the government on Thursday
seemed inclined to accept the demand of social activist Anna
Hazare for notifying the formation of a joint committee to
draft a stronger Lokpal Bill, an issue that has deadlocked
talks between the two sides.

Hazare, whose hunger strike completed the third day, has
been insisting that he would accept nothing less than
formation of a joint committee comprising representatives of
the government and civil society.

During the two rounds of talks, the government side
represented by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal accepted the demand
but did not agree to notify the formation of the committee.

"We have agreed on almost all issues but there is no
agreement on two issues, that is issuing an official
notification to form the committee and making Hazare the
chairman of the committee," Sibal told reporters.

However, a union minister, on condition of anonymity,
said there was no problem in notifying such a committee as
representatives of civil society have been taken on board in
drafing the Communal Violence Bill.

The issue of committee formation is believed to have
figured at the informal meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
held with some of his Cabinet colleagues yesterday.

At the meeting, the move to form the joint committee is
understood have been opposed by some Ministers initially. But
a few others explained that there was no problem, after which
there was an agreement that the demand for joint committee
formation could be agreed to, sources said.

PTI