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Saturday, August 20, 2011
Hazare rubbishes Congress charge on BJP-RSS backing stir!
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PTI / The Hindu / NEW DELHI, August 20, 2011.
Supporters gather in solidarity with social activist Anna Hazare during his fast in New Delhi on Saturday.
Social activist Anna Hazare on Saturday slammed the Congress for alleging that his agitation was backed by the BJP and the RSS. “People who are saying such things should be sent to mental hospital. They have linked us to the United States and now they may link our agitation to Pakistan also,” the Gandhian said.
The Gandhian's comments came on Day 5 of his fast even as the government and his team spoke of the need for a dialogue on the Lokpal issue.
Earlier in the day, 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 Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal said that they were ready for talks and asked “whom should we meet, where should we meet and when should we meet.”
At the Ramlila Maidan where Mr. Hazare is fasting, his associates Mr. 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 Mr. Hazare would enter sixth day of his fast on Sunday. 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 Mr. Hazare’s demand that the Jan Lokpal should be passed by Parliament by August 30, Dr. Singh said “well, clearly, I think there are difficulties. It is a logic of the legislative process.”