Almost 11 years before Anna Hazare went on a fast-unto-death to demand a Lokpal, Manmohan Singh had pledged his support for setting up the anti-corruption ombudsman, speedy trial of tainted politicians and confiscation of illegally acquired property.
All three are also in the civil society draft of the Lokpal Bill.As Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha in May 2000, Singh was one of the 108 Members of Parliament who responded to a request from Lok Sewak Sangh, an non-profit organisation led by Gandhian Shambhu Dutta Sharma, 92.
Over the next 10 years, the NGO changed its name to Gandhian Satyagraha Brigade. But no prime minister - first Atal Bihari Vajpayee and later, Singh - was able to deliver the Bill.
"This is a Bill on which so much surgery has been done over decades that nothing has been left of it," Sharma said, hoping that fellow Gandhian Hazare's fast would yield not just a committee but a law too.
Sharma had gone on a hunger strike on January 30 to demand a Lokpal and tougher laws against tainted politicians but put it off for the Hazare-led fast.
"I didn't cancel it but only deferred it," Sharma insists, saying he will begin his fast on May 1.