Talks between Team Anna, government inconclusive (Lead)August 25th, 2011 - 12:13 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) The third round of talks here between the government and civil society activists on the anti-graft Lokpal bill ended inconclusively Wednesday night, indicating no breakthrough to resolve the crisis spiralling following Anna Hazare’s hunger strike that continued for the ninth day.
“We are quite disappointed with today’s meeting. We will have to start from scratch, it seems,” Team Hazare member Prashant Bhushan told reporters after meeting Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Bhushan said the government on Tuesday had promised that their demands would be “considered sympathetically” but “unfortunately we have to report that we are back to square one”.
Bhushan, flanked by his colleagues Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal, said the three “sticking points” — the inclusion of the lower bureaucracy, creating state ombudsman and citizen’s charters in the Lokpal — remain.
“We have been told that the parliament procedure of the standing committee cannot be short-circuited,” he said.
Mukherjee told reporters after the meeting that the government hoped that the parliamentary process would be allowed to be exercised.
“We conveyed to them the government views,” Mukherjee said, adding that the government had assured to them that their version of the Lokpal bill would be considered by parliament’s standing committee and the process for consideration would be “expedited”.
Bedi alleged the government was not interested in having a strong anti-corruption watchdog.
This was the third round of talks after the first held Tuesday night and the second Wednesday noon. The two sides are likely to meet Thursday again.
Law Minister Salman Khurshid said the government was worried for Hazare’s health. “That is the priority. We are looking to create circumstances so that he breaks his fast. We are looking for a solution.”
“I am hopeful we can get them on board,” Khurshid said, adding that the talks were moving “positively”.
He said the the government was trying to evolve a “broad national consensus” on the Lokpal issue. “We are working towards that.”
He however said that the official Lokpal bill that was passed by the cabinet cannot be undermined.
- Lokpal row back to 'square one' as talks fail - Aug 25, 2011
- Khurshid meets Team Anna ahead of all-party meet (Lead) - Aug 24, 2011
- Three sticking points with government: Team Anna - Aug 24, 2011
- Disappointed with government's stand: Prashant Bhushan - Aug 24, 2011
- Talks stuck on three issues, Hazare to continue fast - Aug 24, 2011
- Government, Team Anna hold talks, PM promises 'best possible' Lokpal bill (Intro Roundup) - Aug 23, 2011
- Standoff continues, PM says anything can happen - Aug 24, 2011
- Lokpal debate in parliament Saturday; Anna firm on key demands (Roundup) - Aug 27, 2011
- All-party meeting called on Lokpal as Hazare targets Congress (Roundup) - Dec 11, 2011
- Government, Team Anna meet, Anna fasts on (Second Intro Roundup) - Aug 24, 2011
- Don't create rift between government, civil society: Khurshid - Oct 25, 2011
- Not holding government to ransom with fasts, says Bhushan - Jun 17, 2011
- Lokpal panel meets amid differences (Lead) - Jun 20, 2011
- BJP, Team Anna agree on Jan Lokpal Bill - Aug 26, 2011
- Lokpal row: Fourth round of talks Thursday - Aug 25, 2011
Tags: anna hazare, anti graft, arvind kejriwal, bureaucracy, civil society activists, corruption, finance minister, government views, hunger strike, khurshid, law minister, New Delhi, ninth day, pranab mukherjee, salman, standing committee, state ombudsman, sticking points, watchdog, wednesday night