Team Anna talks tough;Pranab's intervention brings no result

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Anna Hazare fasting
New Delhi, Aug 24: With Team Anna slamming the olive branch extended by the Prime Minister towards a peaceful resolution to the impasse caused by Anna Hazare's fast, the anti-corruption campaign members are definitely not complaining. After hectic parleys with government named mediator Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Team Anna representatives Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Prashant Bhushan, the hardline stand taken by the govt seem to be loosening.

Following the meeting, Team Anna was quoted as saying to supporters gathered at the Ramlila that three points of contentions still exists. They are -
- The lower bureaucracy should be too brought under the ambit of the Lokpal
- Every state should have its own Lokpal
- The creation of a Citizen's Charter.

But Team Anna is also facing considerable flak for its non-conformist stand and stressing on their version of the Bill, the Jan Lokpal and taking an attitude that precedes the supremacy of the Parliament. Prominent member of the team, Arvind Kejriwal wants the government's version of the bill to be recalled or made to lapse. The suggestion of sending the Jan Lokpal to the Parliamentary standing Committee was also rejected.

Kejriwal has been quoted as saying,"Prime Minister's letter said that Jan Lokpal Bill be given to Standing Committee. This is not acceptable to us. We have told them that either they recall the Government bill or let it lapse."

On the other picky issue of putting the PM under the Lokpal radar, Prashanth Bhushan said, "The Government has agreed that all anti-corruption investigations will be done by the Lokpal. They have not raised any objection about getting the Prime Minister under the ambit of the Lokpal."

However, in spite of the oral assurances, Anna Hazare remained adamant in his stance and refused to call of the fast in spite of his fragile health conditions. Kiran Bedi speaking on behalf of Anna stated, "Anna needs written commitment from the Government. Anna will not relent this time unless there are firm commitments."

Tuesdays late night meeting was attended by Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid and Congress MP from East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency, Sandeep Dikshit apart from Pranab Mukherjee. Following this meeting, the PM convened another emergency Congress core group meeting on how best to break the logjam.

Another meeting is also expected to be convened on Wednesday morning. The all-party meeting is also expected to bring some tangible consensus on the issue of the Lokpal Bill.

OneIndia News

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