New Delhi: The government on Monday said that it
will approach the work of drafting a stronger Lok Pal Bill
with representatives of the civil society with an "open mind"
despite "constraints" and will come out with what is
acceptable to Parliament.
Union Water Resources Minister Salman Khurshid - part
of the 10-member Joint Drafting Committee set up to prepare a
draft Lok Pal Bill - said in Delhi that the five Union Ministers on the
panel were "going with an open mind".
"But it does not mean that we are going to give up on
our training, our experience, our understanding of the
constitutional system...we have constraints. We have certain
context with which we`ll go with an open mind willing to get
persuaded with anything so long as that persuasion is
acceptable to a larger body called Parliament," Khurshid said
in an interview to a television channel.
He, however, did not elaborate on what the "constraints"
Khurshid made it clear that the ministers will not attend
the meetings "saying we have nothing on our constitutional
plate and now, tell us what you want us to do."
To a question on government succumbing to the demands
made by Gandhian Anna Hazare on notifying the committee,
Khurshid said "there is no surrender. The government did not
cave in...did what the Prime Minister said and did what was
felt to be the right thing."
He also termed the demand for notifying the committee as
Replying to a question, Khurshid said people may ask why
the government initially did not agree to the demands of
Hazare on Lok Pal bill. "But if there has been a war, it is
important to get back to peace as quickly as you can," he
He said that during negotiations, some level of margin
has to be kept as both sides begin talks from extreme