Anti-Corruption

Stalemate Between Govt, Anna Hazare Continues Amid Some Hope of Reconciliation

BeyondHeadlines News Desk

New Delhi: The stalemate between the government and Anna Hazare’s supporters continues even as the two sides made considerable progress on several other points on how to add more teeth to the anti-corruption Lokpal Bill.

Union Telecommunications Minister Kapil Sibal today met veteran social activist and Gandhian Anna Hazare’s supporters – Swami Agnivesh and Arvind Kejriwal – twice to resolve the contentious issues. But the two sides failed to come to consensus on the issues of a formal notification of a joint committee and who would be the chairperson the committee.

While the government wants to keep the committee an informal one, Hazare’s supporters want a formal notification. Anna’s supporters want him to head the committee while the government wants Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to take over the responsibilities.

“The timeline issue is not a big issue. We also want the bill to be formed immediately. We have not agreed on Anna Hazare being the chairman. The civil society wants Anna Hazare to be the chairman. We will meet again tomorrow (Friday) morning. We have talked and addressed issues, only two outstanding issues have not been resolved,” said Sibal.

Agnivesh said that the Government agreeing on a 50:50 committee (half of the members from the civil society and half from the Government) was a major victory for Hazare.

“The point of agreement is that 50:50 committee will be formed, which is a breakthrough. The government was not agreeing on this. This is a victory of the nation. We discussed all the issues with Hazare after the morning meeting. We have not agreed on two outstanding issues. The civil society wants Anna Hazare to become the chairman, the government will tell us by morning (Friday morning) on what they want,” said Agnivesh.

He also said that Sibal told them that to wait till May 13 so that the election result of five state assemblies are declared before the committee can meet.

However, Agnivesh said that May 13 would be too late.

“May 13 is too late to call a meeting of joint drafting committee. The government agreed that they are willing to meet sooner,” he said.

Kejriwal said that the Government should agree on the notification issue.

“Kapil Sibal is a senior advocate but his announcement cannot become law in the country. He has to put it on paper and make this legal,” said Kejriwal.

Kejriwal added that Hazare was not sitting on a hunger strike to become the chairman of the committee.

“The movement wants him to be a chairman. Anna Hazare wanted a retired Supreme Court judge to be the chairman. When we announced it to the civil society they wanted Hazare to become the chairman. Our movement will continue till the government agrees on our demands,” he added.

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