NEW DELHI, June 15 � Talks between government and Anna Hazare-led civil society failed to make headway today and the two sides agreed to meet again on June 20 and 21 to bridge �strong divergence� of opinion, reports PTI.
In view of the differences over various elements of the proposed Lokpal Bill, it was decided at the two-and-half hour meeting of the joint drafting committee that a note will be sent to the Union Cabinet by June 30, carrying versions of both the sides.
The Anna Hazare-led civil society members suggested that Lokpal should be empowered to probe corruption cases against officials doing away with the practice of conducting departmental probe along with a CBI inquiry. However, the government members rejected.
The other issue discussed in the meeting was the structure of Lokpal. The Hazare team proposed a 11-member independent anti-corruption watchdog with subordinates having powers, while the government side differed arguing that only 11 members be empowered to take decisions.
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said the committee will again meet on June 20 and 21 in an attempt to bridge differences.
�It is clear there are areas where there are strong divergences of opinion ... Hopefully the civil society members will give us a draft on issues of divergence. We ourselves will prepare a draft on the issues on which we think there are divergences and we will try and arrive at a consensus.
�If consensus is not arrived, then we will forward a draft bill with both versions so that the Cabinet can take a view,� he said. The process will be completed by June 30.
Claiming that nothing could be achieved from today�s meeting, activist Arvind Kejriwal said, �The government is trying to kill the Lokpal even before it is born.�