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No further talks with government on Lokpal: Anna Hazare

Wednesday July 18, 2012 08:41:38 PM, IANS

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Ralegan Siddhi (Maharashtra): Alleging that the UPA government is trying to divide Team Anna, social activist Anna Hazare Wednesday said they will hold no further talks with it and will continue with their indefinite protest from July 25 for a strong Lokpal bill.

In a three-page letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Hazare said he will take part in protests from July 25 and also in yoga guru Baba Ramdev's Aug 9 protest being held in the national capital.

Hazare said that union Law Minister Salman Khurshid met him on June 23 and assured him that the United Progressive Alliance government is ready to bring the Lokpal bill as suggested by the civil society.

"Khurshid told me that the government is ready to bring all junior and senior government officials under the Lokpal and will bring Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under the ambit of Lokpal," he said.

The social activist said that he was asked by Khurshid to keep the meeting secret and it will be discussed with rest of the Team Anna members after talking to prime minister and Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

"I did not discuss about this meeting thinking that if keeping it secret can bring an effective Lokpal then nothing can be better than it. I did ask Khurshid about how the government will again introduce the Lokpal bill proposed by the civil society when the parliament has already passed a bill in Lok Sabha," said Hazare.

According to Hazare, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V. Narayanasamy, in a letter to him Monday, openly wrote that "I (Anna) have helped the government in matters related to Lokpal".

"I have not helped government in anyway and had clearly told Khurshid about our demands. I doubt if the intention behind sending Khurshid was to show that I am talking to government without telling rest of the members," he alleged.

"I was told by Khurshid that the government will make an announcement that it has accepted civil society Lokpal bill before our July 25 agitation. I think that the government is trying to divide us and we have decided to hold no further talks with the government and will continue to protest till a stringent Lokpal bill is passed," he added.


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