With Anna Hazare adamant on not breaking his fast unto death without the government agreeing for a concrete agreement on the Lokpal Bill drafting committee, and the support for Anna Hazare peaking despite IPL, the government rushed today to break the stalemate. The government agreed to all the major demands of Anna Hazare led India Against Corruption after four rounds of talks. Earlier in the day, Anna Hazare, asked the public to be prepared for a ‘jail bharo’ agitation from April 12 if the government doesn’t agree on issuing notification.
10-member panel: Pranab Mukherjee as chairman, Shanti Bhushan as co-chair
Members from the government: P Chidambaram, Veerappa Moily, Salman Khursheed, Kapil Sibal
Members from civil society: Anna Hazare, Prashant Bhushan, Santosh Hegde, Arvind Kejriwal
Committee to be notified via Govt order
Bill to be passed in monsoon session
The agreement came after four rounds of talks with Kapil Sibal from the government side and Swami Agnivesh, Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi from the side of the civil society.
‘It is a victory of the democracy,’ Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal said of the accord to draft an anti-graft legislation. Gandhian social reformer Anna Hazare who is on fast unto death since April 5 announced that he would end his fast on Saturday morning after getting a letter from the government.
After agreeing over a formal notification of a joint committee of activists and ministers, the Centre agreed to issue a government order. The government also agreed for a 50:50 ministerial-activist composition and for the committee being co-chaired. The one compromise the activists conceded was of the chair. The Centre said it would concede the chair to Hazare’s group but no minister would be on it. The activists agreed for the co-chair formula since ministers have to be on the panel to give it more weight. “Ministers on the panel will make the government more receptive to the draft the committee draws up,” Hazare said.
Still there was some confusion about in the camp about the official notification since the government has been misleading the public about the finer details. The government said that an official notification will be issued once Anna says his fast is over.
But the Gandhian decides to break his fast only after a satisfactory government order was issued. He said once the activists were satisfied that the terms agreed to had been honoured, the agitation would be over.
Albeit, the civil society had won. Times of India wrote, “It looked like an innings defeat for the government which had only on Monday frostily expressed its “disappointment” at Hazare’s decision to fast and dismissed the stir as saffron inspired.”