Differences can be resolved through dialogue: Anna to Govt

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Anna Hazare
New Delhi, Jun 14: Amid a war of words between government and civil society members over Lokpal Bill, both sides will meet here on Wednesday, June 15 for its drafting even as Anna Hazare today (June 14) reminded the ministers that differences could be resolved through dialogue and not through confrontation.

As the government and Congress continued its attack on the civil society members, Hazare said he cannot force anyone not to level allegations like he was a mask of RSS or BJP by putting a hand on their mouth, but said the civil society has every right to raise issues.

The activists, who have shot off letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, will push for the inclusion of Prime Minister, judiciary and MPs under the ambit of the Lokpal, an issue on which government is at loggerheads with the civil society.

"Differences can be resolved through talks but not through confrontation. We feel that the government has accepted some of our demands and a lot more needs to be done. There is time till June 30," he told reporters here. "If nothing happens, we will see then," he added.

He said the civil society will put forth their views during tomorrow's meeting and if their demands were not met, then they will start their agitation again.

The last meeting on June six was boycotted by the civil society side to protest police crackdown on Ramdev's protest. Congress has called Hazare an "unelected tyrant" while the civil society has taken exception to Mukherjee's remarks that they were undermining democracy.

Asked about allegations that he was associated with RSS and BJP, Hazare said, "how can I put hand on their mouth (and prevent them from making allegations)? In my lifetime, I have never gone close to any political party. Every party is similar. Some are graduates in corruption while some others have got doctorates in corruption." 

Queried whether he considered BJP a corrupt party, he evaded direct reply and said, "why should I say, you people know." On Congress' allegation that the civil society was undermining democracy, he said the civil society has become the masters of the country when it turned republic.

Emphasising that the government has to listen to people's opinion, he said there was nothing wrong in civil society highlighting issues as the government is a representative of the citizens and are answerable.

"We do not deny that Parliament is a big institution. But Parliament is not in Delhi alone. Have a look at the Constitution. The village parliament is bigger than the Parliament in Delhi. Nobody thinks about it. Who has send them to Parliament?" he said.

Hazare also said there is so much corruption. "People in the government act like kings. Thats why people should reflect on Congress leader Digvijay Singh said about bringing Prime Minister under the ambit of the Lokpal Bill. It is noy just Anna Hazare's question," he said.

Asked why they were not pulling out the drafting commitee as there was so much of mistrust, Kejriwal said they have to work with this. "At least, we can put on record our dissent note," he said.

PTI

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