A section in the Congress is keen that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh address the nation on the issue of corruption and the lokpal bill in order to counter the campaign launched by the civil society activists.
“The PM’s clean image and sincerity will help in carrying the message to the people that the government is serious about tackling corruption and taking action against it,” said a senior Congress leader.
Though, there is no word so far whether Singh will go for such an address. But for a starter, he plans to reach out to opinion makers.
The PM is expected to meet editors and senior journalists this week at part of his exercise to explain his government's stand on various issues.
The suggestion that Singh address the nation was made by a senior leader at the recent Congress Working Committee meeting.
The prime minister, during the meeting, had accepted full responsibility for all the decisions taken following criticism of the government's handling of the anti-corruption campaigns by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev and the formation of a joint drafting panel for lokpal bill.
At the same meeting, there was also a demand that the party use Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi's charisma to counter the "four or five self-proclaimed civil society representatives" who were allegedly masking for the RSS-BJP.With the Congress-UPA's image taking a beating, the party is now determined to take these activists, including Hazare who is planning a fast from August 16, head-on.
The lokpal will be in focus at the all-party meeting on July 3 and during the monsoon session of Parliament starting from August 1.
The government’s draft lokpal bill, which will be finalized after the all-party meeting and presented to the Cabinet before being brought to Parliament, opposes the inclusion of the prime minister, higher judiciary and conduct of MPs inside Parliament and is contrary to the stand of Team Anna.