Emotions high; Is Team Anna-UPA truce in the offing?

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Anna Hazare-PM Manmohan Singh
New Delhi, Aug 23: With both Team Anna and the Government in a stand-off of sorts over the Lokpal Bill, there seem to be signs of a dent in the logjam with both parties hinting at a softening of the hardline stand. There are reports that Anna Hazare is ready for discussions but with conditions.

While Anna has ruled out any negotiations with home minister P Chidambaram or human resource development (HRD) minister Kapil Sibal, he revealed that he was ready for talks with Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) or Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. He also stated in no-less terms that talks could not take place to with non-government mediators.

Even as Abhishek Manu Singhvi is facing the heat in the capacity as Congress spokesperson as well as the Head of the parliamentary panel looking into the Lokpal Bill, he commented that it cannot be decided on the basis of deadlines. He said, "Everything cannot be decided on the basis of deadlines. It is vital that every side shows restraint and discipline. It is important to show flexibility by moving away from timelines."

Meanwhile, Team Anna slammed all rumours of negotiations with the Prime Minister's office with Kiran Bedi commenting that the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ought to send his representatives for talks. Bedi tweeted on this regard, "Anna is saying let the government come forward to discuss the Jan Lokpal Bill. Let the PM send his representatives. Any negotiations are rumours."

The Prime Minister on the other hand expressed his interest in composite dialogue to break the logjam and was quoted as saying at a function in Kolkata that a single piece of law will not end corruption but action on multiple fronts will.

Sources have also revealed that the govt might bend its stand to include the PM under the Lokpal ambit which is one of the main contentious issues in the whole debate. Gandhian Anna Hazare also seem to be reciprocating the sentiment by stating that the views on excluding judiciary from the Lokpal radar can be discussed in the proposed talks. He also added that this will be possible only if the proposed Judicial Accountability Bill is empowered.

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