No breakdown in talks with Team Anna: Mukherjee

“Neither there is any question of going back to square one nor the question of government changing its attitude,” Mukherjee told NDTV, after talks between the two sides failed to achieve any breakthrough to end Anna Hazare's fast that entered its ninth day Wednesday.
There would have been no talks if the government changed its stand, the finance minister said.

Mukherhee was responding to Team Hazare members' remarks that the two sides were “back to square one".

They alleged that the government had done a “U-turn” after accepting many of their demands Tuesday and rejecting them a day later.

But Mukherjee denied it it summarily. “Yesterday (Tuesday) they gave three conditions. The Jan Lokpal Bill should be introduced, it shouldn't be scrutinized by parliamentary standing committee and the bill, with minor amendments if the government thinks are necessary, should be passed.”

He said he told them that he could respond to these questions then as the matter needed to be discussed with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“Today (Wednesday) I informed them that the government considered the proposals and they stated it is not possible.

"But at the same time we told them that the prime minister has given assurance in his letter that the Jan Lokpal Bill will be referred to the parliamentary standing committee.

"It can make any amendment and the process will be expedited and put on the fast track,” Mukherjee said.

Law Minister Salman Khurshid, another negotiator, also denied that there has been any breakdown in talks. He said the talks were progressing well and would continue Thursday.

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