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Lokpal Bill: Team Anna,govt fight hard today for consensus

Opinion is divided on whether the PM,the higher judiciary should be brought under Lokpal.

Amid a war of words between civil society and the government on the Lokpal Bill,both sides meet today – on Anna Hazare’s 74rth birthday – to arrive at a consensus on the fresh draft.

Hazare,pushing for the Prime Minister’s post to come under the ambit of the Lokpal,had on Tuesday lowered his tone somewhat and said differences with the government could be resolved through dialogue.

The government wasn’t impressed and publicly attacked Hazare saying it was not democratic for one person to impose his views on everybody.

AICC general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said decisions in democracy are taken only through public opinion. “Debate on what Bill should or should not be made can take place only in Parliament and Assemblies,” he said.

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Yesterday,Hazare had said he could not stop from levelling allegations like he was a mask of the RSS or the BJP,but insisted 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 the government is at loggerheads with the civil society.

The last meeting on June 6 was boycotted by civil society members to protest the police crackdown on Ramdev’s protest.

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Congress has also called Hazare an “unelected tyrant” while the civil society has taken exception to Pranab Mukherjee’s remarks that they were undermining democracy.

Meanwhile in his Maharashtra home in Ralen Siddhi,birthday celebrations will be on a low key,in keeping with the anti-corruption crusader’s wishes.

Hazare’s aide Datta Awari has however said next year’s celebrations will be grand when Hazare will turn 75.

First published on: 15-06-2011 at 10:55 IST
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