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Sonia Discusses Lokpal Bill Issue With PM

New Delhi, Apr 8 :  Congress President Sonia Gandhi today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and discussed the stalemate on the issue of an effective Lokpal Bill for which Gandhian Anna Hazare has launched a
sonia discusses lokpal bill issue with pm - India...
PTI 08 Apr 2011, 13:15:48 PM IST

New Delhi, Apr 8 :  Congress President Sonia Gandhi today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and discussed the stalemate on the issue of an effective Lokpal Bill for which Gandhian Anna Hazare has launched a campaign.

Ministers Pranab Mukherjee and Kapil Sibal, Political Secretary to Congress President Ahmed Patel and Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister T K A Nair were also present at the meeting, party sources said.

The meeting comes a day after Gandhi appealed to Hazare to end his fast, which entered the fourth day today, assuring him that his views would receive the government's full attention.

Stepping up his anti-corruption campaign, Hazare yesterday brushed aside Gandhi's appeal to him to withdraw his hunger strike as the government initiated talks on formation of a joint committee to draft an effective Lokpal Bill but there was no consensus on two crucial aspects.

A meeting of Sibal with activists Swami Agnivesh and Arvind Kejriwal scheduled this morning did not take place as both sides said they were waiting for each other. The meeting is now scheduled at 6 PM.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today appealed to Anna Hazare to end his hunger strike, which entered the fourth day, and join the informal committee to make an effective Lokpal Bill.

"I appeal to Anna Hazare to end the fast and participate in the informal committee," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters on the sidelines of a CII event here.

Earlier, on Wednesday, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had appealed to Hazare to end his fast, assuring him that his views would receive the government's full attention.

"Talks are going on with Anna Hazare," Mukherjee said.

The government has already initiated talks with Hazare on formation of a joint committee to draft the Lokpal Bill but failed to reach a consensus on some crucial aspects.

Three of the five demands raised by Hazare and his supporters have been met by the government. These are formation of a joint committee with five members each from government and civil society, immediate setting up of the panel and bringing the Bill in the Monsoon Session.

However, the government did not agree to the demand of issuing an official notification for the constitution of the committee. PTI

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