The government has made a peace offer to Gandhian activist Anna Hazare, who is on a fast "unto death" to press for his demand for a stronger legislation to set up a Lokpal (ombudsman).
TV reports say the government has decided to set up a joint drafting panel for the Lokpal bill, which will be introduced in Parliament in the monsoon session. Half of the members of the panel will be from the civil society while the rest of the members will be government officials. The law minister will be the committee's convener.
Hazare had pointed out that the government had agreed to set up a joint drafting committee, half of whose members would be from the civil society.
"The government proposed (Finance Minister) Pranab Mukherjee to head this committee. I request you to reconsider this as people are demanding a non-political person as the chairperson," he said.
"Despite an outcry for me to be the chairperson, I am not interested in holding any position. I propose the names of Justice JS Verma or Justice Santosh Hegde to be made the chairperson.
"All the above should be issued in the form of a notification or a formal government order which specifies the constitution of the committee, names of its members and chairperson, time lines and terms," he added.
The government has since declared that it would not issue such a notification but said it would again talk to Anna Hazare's representatives -- Swami Agnivesh and Arvind Kejriwal.