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Hazare says will speak to PMO, Rahul or Maha CM

Anna Hazare today told a TV channel that he is ready to be flexible about including judiciary in the Lokpal Bill but will only negotiate with the Prime Minister's Office, Rahul Gandhi or the Maharashtra CM.

delhi Updated: Aug 22, 2011 15:10 IST
Anna Hazare,Lokpal Bill,Jan Lokpal Bill

Anna Hazare on Monday told a TV channel that he is ready to be flexible about including judiciary in the Lokpal Bill but will only negotiate with the Prime Minister's Office, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi or the Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.

According to IBN18, Hazare has refused to speak to non government mediators but expressed his willingness to keep the judiciary out of Lokpal's purview.

He also said that strong judicial acciountibility needed if judiciary is not included in the ambit of the Bill.

However, Team Anna wants the Bill to be passed by passed in Parliament by August 30, the deadline set by fasting Anna Hazare.

Reacting to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's proposal for a reasoned debate on Lokpal Bill, Team Anna said the government should ensure passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill by August 30.

"The Prime Minister should ensure passage of Jan Lokpal Bill and then only the intention of what he said could come true," activist Kiran Bedi said referring to Singh's remarks on corruption and its eradication.

"Your bill is very weak. Please understand that....You take five minutes to clear a bill if it is about your salary. Get the Jan Lokpal Bill passed. Still there are five-six days left," she said.

Earlier Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal said they had not received any proposal for talks from the government.

"No one has approached us," said Kejriwal, a close confidant of Hazare.

"The Prime Minister tells you (media) that they are ready for talks. We are asking them through you again and again, where should we come for talks and whom to meet," he said.

"Then the news comes from official sources that they are willing to talk, we cannot even react to that as long as we don't get a concrete proposal," he said at Ramlila ground.

Rejected allegations of promoting hooliganism, Kejriwal said that there was nothing wrong in urging people to protest in front of their MPs.

"What is wrong if Anna is asking people to go and ask their MPs to make their stand clear. Annaji is not saying you indulge in hooliganism, Annaji is not saying you indulge in violence...," Kejriwal said.

"Otherwise what is democracy, democracy is not only going and voting once in five years and then handing over your destiny for next five years in the hands of some other people," he said.

Kejriwal also accused MPs of not visiting their constituency. He, however, made it clear that Team Anna had no intention to topple the government.

"This promotion of corruption act which has been brought, either it should be changed and Jan Lokpal bill passed... Making the government fall is not our aim," he said.

First Published: Aug 22, 2011 14:12 IST