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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Anna says will meet Sonia Gandhi, Congress mum

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 30, 2011
First Published: 00:23 IST(30/6/2011) | Last Updated: 08:43 IST(30/6/2011)

Till Wednesday evening there was no word from the Congress whether president Sonia Gandhi will accede to anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare’s request for an appointment with her on Thursday.

The Hazare camp has been saying that he will meet Sonia as part of his effort to persuade political leaders to back his campaign to include the Prime Minister in the ambit of the lokpal bill. But the Congress — which at its working committee meet last week decided to take the challenge of four or five “self styled representatives” from civil society head on — was silent on the matter.

The Hazare camp’s move has gathered momentum ahead of the July 3 all-party meeting to discuss the lokpal bill.

“We will meet all parties...We will meet Sonia on Thursday and tell her if the PM is not against inclusion under the Lokpal, what is the problem,” Hazare said after the first round of interactions on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, activists Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi called on CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat while Hazare and another colleague joined them in meeting RLD chief Ajit Singh.

On Friday, Hazare’s team is slated to meet the BJP top brass as suggested by senior party leader LK Advani.

“The CPI(M) is for inclusion of the PM and bureaucracy below joint secretary level. Karat was for an inclusive Lokpal which includes merger of Anti-Corruption wing of CBI with Lokpal,” said Bedi later.

No immediate hearing on plea
The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to give immediate hearing to a petition seeking to restrain the Centre from circulating the draft of the lokpal bill to parliamentarians.

“It is still under discussion. Why should we discuss here at this stage? Let them solve it first, then it would come before us,” a vacation bench headed by justice P Sathasivam said.  HTC


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