Amid the high-pitched war of words between the Congress and Team Anna in the foreground of the Hisar Lok Sabha bypolls, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stepped in to assure activist Anna Hazare that his government is committed to making a strong Lokpal Bill in the near future.
Several Congress leaders are trading charges of Team Anna’s RSS links while Hazare and his followers, like Arvind Kejriwal, are asking people to defeat the Congress for the delay in the Lokpal Bill.
Replying to Hazare’s letter of September 21, Singh reminded him that the government is working on an extensive agenda to curb corruption and provide better governance.
He also mentioned that the government was considering various proposals on electoral reforms.
But Singh also reminded Hazare that the demands on electoral reforms (which includes the right to recall) would require political consensus for its implementation. “In a democratic society, political consensus is required in some issues,” Singh wrote while assuring that his government is actively considering electoral reforms.
“We want to discuss the various proposals for electoral reforms with all political parties and want to act on those issues where consensus is evolved,” he added.
Meanwhile, law minister Salman Khurshid said that the government would give constitutional status to the lokpal. The demand — which was first raised by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi — would require an amendment in the Constitution and the support of at least two-third of MPs in both Houses of Parliament.
In the letter, the Prime Minister also agreed with Hazare that gram sabhas should be empowered and committed to take forward the amendment of articles 73 and 74 of the Constitution.