Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and social activist Anna Hazare have exchanged not one but two letters during the last 20 days. Hazare-led India Against Corruption (IAC) had on Tuesday released Singh’s reply to the letter written by the social activist to him on September 21.
Two days later, Hazare again wrote to the Prime Minister, saying the Centre should take the initiative for setting up lokayuktas in all the states. Interestingly, Singh replied to this letter first on October 7, but neither the IAC nor the government made it public.
Referring to Hazare’s demand on the lokayuktas, the Prime Minister replied:“As you are already aware, there was in-principle agreement in the Parliament on August 27 that lokayuktas should be set up in states.”
Singh wrote that the parliamentary standing committee, which is examining the Lokpal Bill, has already been intimated about the agreement reached in the parliament “so that it can keep that before it while finalising its recommendations.”
Singh expressed his hope in the letter that Hazare would agree with him to let the Parliament complete the process of setting up the Lokpal at the Centre before taking any further steps on lokayuktas in states.
The PM’s reply to this letter was brief, unlike the response to Hazare’s two-page letter, which was made public on Tuesday.
Asked about this particular exchange of letter being kept under the warps, IAC said decisions on which letter to be made public were taken by Hazare. In his reply to Hazare’s first letter, which was made public on Tuesday, PM had told him that the government was committed to bring a strong Lokpal Bill, and was hopeful of getting it passed soon.