The National Advisory Council (NAC) headed by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has intervened to review the proposed Lokpal Bill in a bid to avert a confrontation between the government and civil society activists.
The NAC working group on transparency and accountability has opened a channel of communication with India Against Corruption (IAC), the organisation spearheading the demand for an effective anti-corruption ombudsman.The move comes ahead of Gandhian Anna Hazare’s decision to begin a fast-unto-death in the Capital from Tuesday.
The NAC had roped in Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to persuade Hazare to attend its meeting on Monday and put off his fast. But in the absence of any concrete assurance from the government to form a joint committee for the drafting of the bill, Hazare turned down the offer, HT has learnt.
“We have been receiving numerous calls from ministers at the Centre but we fail to understand that instead of trying to persuade us, why can't they simply say ‘okay let us re-draft the bill to fight corruption’?” said a spokesperson for Hazare.
“We still have some hope from the NAC though the government's response has been disappointing so far.”
The NAC working group, headed by Aruna Roy, will on Monday meet IAC representatives and groups to examine their versions of the Lokpal Bill and compare them with the government's draft and possibly try to arrive at a consensus.