New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh strikes an appeasing note towards Anna Hazare on Saturday, emphasising that the government was open to discussion and dialogue on the Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament.
PM said after a Planning Commission meeting that “There is a lot of scope for give and take… We are open to discussion and dialogue… We would like a broad national consensus to emerge.”
Including the PM under the Lokpal Bill is one decisive provision on which the government can concede. The BJP whose support will be necessary to see the Lokpal Bill through Rajya Sabha has demanded that the Lokpal cover the PM too.
“We must all work together to push for a strong and effective Lokpal and whatever obstacles come in the way, we should remove them,” Singh told to the reporters.
The committee is expected to invite members Team Anna and few other civil society groups for consultations on the matter, in the 1st week of September.
With the Hazare group adamant that the government’s Lokpal bill be replaced by its stronger version, the PM points out the official bill was not the last word.
While it’s difficult to say whether these proposals would lead to meaningful talks, there was growing appreciation in the government of the fact that the anti-corruption movement was gradually gaining popularity and there was need for an urgent political response to it, mainly as Anna’s fast had already crossed 110 hours.