Anna crisis: Rahul steps in, meets PM (Lead)

August 16th, 2011 - 11:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Tuesday evening met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and discussed the situation arising out of the arrest of social activist Anna Hazare.

According to Congress sources, Hazare, set to be released from Tihar Jail, was being freed after Gandhi’s intervention.

Gandhi, according to the sources, urged the prime minister to allow the situation to be defused triggered by Hazare’s arrest.

Hazare and his activists galvanised support from various parts of India with opposition parties rallying behind him in unison.

The social activist and some of his supporters were arrested Tuesday for breach of peace ahead of a planned fast to press for a strong anti-graft Lokpal bill.

The 74-year-old Gandhian is said to have not touched any food or water since morning, thus beginning his hunger strike against corruption.

However, he was set to be released any time soon, sources said.

The release of Hazare, Congress sources said, could have been worked out courtesy back-channel talks between the government and civil society activists.

A lot of the back-channel communication is also thanks to Gandhi, who has a major say in the Congress in the absence of party president Sonia Gandhi, a senior Congress leader told IANS.

Rahul Gandhi has communication channels with the Team Anna through some members of the National Advisory Council (NAC) and some NGO activists, he said.

There is a feeling among both the sides that the positions should not further harden and the situation should not go out of control, the Congress leader said.

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