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PM writes to Hazare, urges him to end fast

Last updated on: August 23, 2011 18:05 IST

PM writes to Hazare, urges him to end fast

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Directly reaching out to Anna Hazare on the eighth day of his fast, a concerned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday appealed to the Gandhian activist to end his hunger strike with a promise that his version of the Lokpal Bill could be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee if rules permit.

Read the full text of PM's letter here

Dr Singh wrote to Hazare, saying that he was concerned about his health and that he should end his fast, sources in the Prime Minister's Office said.

The prime minister told Hazare that he shared his concern over corruption and that there was no difference between the government and the activist over the issue.

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Image: Anna Hazare

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The government will ask Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and if the rules permit, the Jan Lokpal Bill would be referred to the Standing Committee, Dr Singh told Hazare.

The prime minister's letter comes at a time when an informal channel of communication has been opened between the government and the Hazare team to end the impasse caused by the civil activist's hunger strike for a strong Lokpal Bill.

In his letter, the prime minister told Hazare that the government will ask the Lok Sabha Speaker if his version of the Lokpal Bill can be sent to the Standing Committee, which is already examining the government's Bill.


Image: A poster against anti-corruption

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Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi held a meeting with Dr Singh at his residence and reportedly discussed Hazare's fast.

Akhil Gogoi, a rights activist who attended the meeting with Salman Khurshid along with Arvind Kejriwal, said the minister told them that the prime minister wants to find a solution through talks and they talked about the process for the discussion with Pranab Mukherjee.

Gogoi said that Kejriwal and lawyer Prashant Bhushan may be nominated by Hazare to hold talks with the government. A final call will be taken by Hazare, he said.


Image: Hazare on his way to Ramlila Maidan

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After their meeting, both Kejriwal and Khurshid declined to go into the specifics of the discussions they had. Both said just a beginning has been made.

The minister said that there was no discussion on issues, but only an attempt was made to understand what was happening and why they were so much agitated.

Khurshid said that all efforts and contacts should be made at every level as "time is running out".


Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

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