Lok Sabha leader of the opposition Sushma Swaraj took a middle path during the all-party meeting and desisted from commenting on the Anna Hazare agitation, but many opposition parties—some of whom had showered lavish praise on the veteran activist at Jantar Mantar—were in a completely different mood.
NDA convenor and JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, who attended the public debate on Sunday at Jantar Mantar and had compared Hazare's anti-graft movement with that of late Jai Prakash Narayan in 1974 and late VP Singh in 1987-88, on Wednesday night questioned some of the key demands of Team Anna.
"Almost everyone seems to be saying that the PM should be brought under Lokpal….I am a little scared, since this office is the highest institution of the country…It is my view and I am doing loud thinking," he said.
MIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi asked the government if it was advisable to create such a watchdog. "If such a mammoth structure is created, it will definitely collapse under its own weight," he said.
Samajwadi Party leader, Mohan Singh, whose colleague, Ram Gopal Yadav had congratulated Team Anna for bringing corruption on the national agenda, said the lokpal bill will have long term repercussions on the country and "it required a lengthy discussion and should not be passed in haste."
The CPI, another party that attended the Jantar Mantar debate, insisted on parliamentary supremacy in the all-party meet. Party leader Gurudas Dasgupta used strong language against Hazare's latest announcement to go on an indefinite fast from December 27.
It was left to the RJD president Lalu Prasad to point to the parties about their apparent volte face in the meeting. "I would like to know from the government why it is allowing people to speak on every issue here ? Just speak on areas of disagreement, since parties speak in different voices at different forums," he said
National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah argued against bringing the private sector under Lokpal, pointing that industrialists funded political parties during elections.