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Dialogue with Team Anna, but not at gunpoint: Digvijaya

August 01, 2012 19:25 IST
Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh has favoured a dialogue between Team Anna and the government, but said it should not be at "gunpoint" even as he sought an end to their fast first.

He said his sympathies were with all those people who are on hunger strike, but expressed the hope that better sense prevails upon them so that they end their fast before entering into any dialogue.

"The government cannot allow people to die...being insensitive. Therefore, the government has to look into this. My own experience as chief minister has been that all these issues must be sorted out in a democracy through dialogue. And this government has gone out of its way to strike a dialogue," Singh said in New Delhi.

Unaware about the government not favouring a dialogue with agitating Team Anna, Singh, however, favoured a dialogue with them when asked so. "Dialogue...but not at gunpoint. They should break their fast and then probably channels can be opened," he said.

To a question whether the government will face another faux pas if something happens to those on hunger strike, Singh said, "Nothing will happen to them" and cited the example of the Manipur woman (Irom Chanu Sharmila) who was on a fast for over 11 years demanding repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958.

Singh said there has been no government so far which has discussed the drafting of a Bill outside Parliament, as had been done with the civil society members.

"Has any elected government since 1952 ever discussed the drafting of a Bill outside the Parliament and that too from people who claim to be ultimate representatives of so-called civil society," he asked.

Expressing his sympathies with all those on hunger strike, Singh said, "May God give them better sense...I appeal to them to end their fast and have faith in those who have been elected to Parliament by the 50 crore people of the country."

Singh also favoured that Team Anna should contest elections and form a party, saying it is fair in a democracy.

To a question on Rahul Gandhi if he should join the party or the government, Singh said, "It should be left to Rahul Gandhi or the Congress president. In my opinion he should work in the organisation."

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