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By Venkatesh Kesari, via Asian Age, New Delhi / DC / August 28, 2011.
Team Pranab finally controlled the damage by virtually evolving consensus on the three demands of Team Anna in Parliament on Saturday evening and thus moved forward to break the deadlock between the government and the civil society led by Mr Anna Hazare for a stronger Lokpal bill.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee involved his Cabinet colleagues Vilasrao Deshmukh, Salman Khurshid, P.K. Bansal, V. Narayanasamy, besides MP Sandeep Dikshit, in this exercise.
While Leaders of the Opposition in the two Houses of Parliament Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jatiley and NDA leader L.K. Advani also made their contribution to resolving the crisis-like situation, Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar played a key role behind the scenes by involving Maharashtra leaders close to Mr Hazare, including state home minister R.R. Patil, to convince the social activist to break his fast that began from August 16.
Room No. 10 and room number 13 in Parliament House — the offices of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Mr Mukherjee — were the centre of activities during the day.
While members of Team Pranab wanted Mr Hazare to end his fast on Saturday night itself, the Maharashtra leaders pointed out Anna never breaks his fast after sunset.
Then it was communicated to a interlocutor of Team Anna that he (Anna) should announce the breaking of the fast before 9.30 pm. “If he does not announce, then he can change his mind on Sunday,” they feared.
On the other hand, a group of young Congress MPs was mounting pressure on the government to resolve the crisis at “any cost”.