Anna Hazare ready to talk but with riders

New Delhi, Aug 21 (IANS) On the sixth day of his hunger strike, social activist Anna Hazare Sunday said the door for talks with the government was open but he vowed to continue his protest to maintain pressure for an anti-graft legislation drafted by his team.

"The path of negotiations is not closed for us. It is still open. Only through dialogue can issues be resolved," the 74-year-old told cheering crowds at the spacious Ramlila Ground here.

Hazare's seemingly softened stand comes a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the government was ready for a "give and take" on the bill that sets up an independent and powerful anti-graft watchdog called the Lokpal.

The prime minister indicated his willingness to end the stand-off with Hazare as he spoke to select media outlets, including IANS.

By Sunday evening, the crowds at the ground swelled to several thousands even as huge protests in many cities and towns of the country gained momentum on a weekend.

Hazare, in his address to the crowd, also launched a sharp attack on the government, saying its intentions were "not good".

He asked his supporters to be ready for a bigger revolution if the government failed to pass his version of the Lokpal bill.

"The flame of revolution should continue to burn whether I live or not... If the government doesn't pass the bill, there will be a movement in the country never seen before," he thundered.

Amid a huge applause, he asked the government to quit "if you cannot get in the bill".

There was speculation that the government was trying to engage Hazare in back channel talks and was looking to have interlocutors from his home state Maharashtra, including Umesh Chandra Sarangi, an additional chief secretary to the state government.

Spiritual guru Bhayyu Maharaj is another choice for a negotiator with Hazare, according to informed sources in the government.

Sarangi met Hazare twice since Friday night. But Hazare's close aide Swami Agnivesh denied that he had met as a government mediator.

"(He) came last night as a personal friend of Hazare," Agnivesh said. "He was given both versions of the Lokpal Bill and he went away."

The possibility of talks was also discussed in a meeting between Hazare and his team members following which Agnivesh said the government needed to create an atmosphere of trust by withdrawing its bill from parliament.

"We are open for talks. We will not budge. This is the least they can do to earn our trust and introduce Jan Lokpal bill," Agnivesh told IANS.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee also said the government desired "a new chapter of talks with the civil society" and added that the constitution "can accommodate all views".

Hazare was his usual energetic self Sunday despite six days of fasting. Although he rested most of the day, he thundered at one time to say people should picket residences of their MPs to press them to pass the Jan Lokpal bill.

Hazare began his indefinite fast Aug 16 soon after his detention while he was proceeding to the J.P. Park. The same day he was taken to Tihar Jail, where he remained until Friday when he shifted to the Ramlila Ground.


Top Stories

Comment on this article

  • Ratan, Gurgaon

    Mon, Aug 22 2011

    In democracy People is above all institutions and people want corrupts to be punished. Too much of scams already done by political leaders along with top level bureaucrats. Now people don't want anymore fodder scam, 2G Spectrum etc.. Moreover, govt. should also impose a law that there should be priority on the basis of which Govt. should spent the budget and not like in UP where Govt. is wasting the money in creating monuments of Mayawati i really don't know what Mayawati did so that her monuments are built everywhere in UP govt. is wasting money over all there however basic needs are not available for the people.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Girishkumar, Dubai

    Sun, Aug 21 2011

    Congratulation to all INDIANS! WELL DONE without violence & with respect to all. This movement will increase Indian youth image & respect all around world. World is watching peaceful INDIANS! Now world will say We proud that u r Indian! All best wishes to The great movement against corruption! Request to all NRI Indians Pls,Write & give your support to nation. JAI HIND!

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Vinod, Delhi

    Sun, Aug 21 2011

    Anna tum sangarsh karo ham tumare sath hai or naa kamayab sarkar ko janta kai samne jukna padega or they have to accept all the term of lok pall bill and consider it as early possible. Bharat mata ki jai < Inclab jinda baad

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • sahir shaikh, bhiwandi

    Sun, Aug 21 2011

    we are with anna hazareji...
    at any condition....

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Ratan, Assam

    Sun, Aug 21 2011

    This is the high time for us to root out corruption.If this time we will not be united then it might take another decade or century to root out corruption. we should not miss this opportunity, enough is enough now we cannot be the puppet of corrupt politicians. Corruption is every where being it educational institutions, medicals, government offices every where we have to pay bribe to get our work done. Limited sections of the society are becoming rich who can avail all the luxury of life. on the other hand there are sections of the society who cannot even afford 3 times of meal a day. Who have to sleep on to the streets. Who do not even have shade to cover their head.... This is a high time we should to have a strong bill who can catch hold any culplit inspite of any designation who try to cheat the nation, does corruption. Jai Hind...

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

Leave a Comment

Title: Anna Hazare ready to talk but with riders

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.