NEW DELHI, Aug 20 � The Government and Team Anna today spoke of the need for a dialogue on the Lokpal issue despite continuing rhetoric on both sides as the Gandhian�s fast entered the fifth day, reports PTI.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh affirmed that there was �a lot of scope for give and take� and that the government was open to �discussion and dialogue�.
Hours later Arvind Kejriwal, who has emerged as a hardliner in the Anna camp, said that they were ready for talks and asked �whom should we meet, where should we meet and when should we meet.�
Pandering to the populist mood at Ramlila Grounds where Hazare is fasting, his associates Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan and Kiran Bedi spoke some tough words like �we cannot trust this government�, but at the same time maintained that the government should come forward and start discussions.
There were no signs as to which side would take the initiative to break the deadlock, but it was obvious that the move would have to come soon since Hazare would enter sixth day of his fast tomorrow. As of now, his vital health parameters were �stable�.
Calling for a broad national consensus on Lokpal, the Prime Minister expressed the hope that the government can enlist the cooperation of �all thinking segments of Indian public opinion to ensure that the end-product is a strong and effective Lokpal which all sections of our community want�.
�...We are open to discussion and dialogue. We like a broad national consensus to emerge. We are all in favour of a Lokpal which is strong and which is effective,� he said.
Asked about Anna Hazare�s demand that the Jan Lokpal should be passed by Parliament by August 30, Singh said, �Well, clearly, I think there are difficulties. It is a logic of the legislative process.�
Meanwhile, a Parliamentary Committee examining the Lokpal Bill today sought suggestions from the public within 15 days, making it clear that the August 30 deadline set by Hazare on passing the anti-corruption legislation would not be met.
The move was termed as a �waste of time� by Team Anna which asserted the committee should totally reject government Bill.
Coming down heavily on Team Anna, Minister of State for the PMO V Narayanasamy said its criticism of the Standing Committee was a �clear case of breach of privilege� and calling MPs �thieves� is equal to casting aspersion on Parliament itself.
The minister also asked the Team Anna not to cross the Lakshman rekha (limit).
Reacting to the charge, Kejriwal said, �We have not crossed any limits but what we are saying is that the government is using the committee as a shield.�