Hazare fast: Signs of breakthrough?

Hazare fast: Signs of breakthrough?

Hazare set three conditions to break his ten-day fast declaring publicly that all civil servants should be brought under Lokpal, a Citizen Charter should be displayed at all government offices and all states should have Lokayuktas.

The 74-year-old Hazare said that if Parliament considered the Jan Lokpal bill and there was an agreement within the House on these three conditions, he would break his fast.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took the first step towards breaking the ice when he made an open offer in Lok Sabha that Parliament will consider the Jan Lokpal Bill along with bills proposed by others, including Aruna Roy and Dr Jayaprakash Narayan, and the record of the discussion would be sent to the Standing Committee.

He also applauded the Gandhian for his ideals, saying "I salute him. His life is much too precious and therefore, I would urge Hazare to end his fast."

Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj supported Singh's appeal after which an unanimous appeal was made from the Chair by Speaker Meira Kumar.

On yet another day of hectic activities, the Prime Minister followed up his offer by holding consultations with his senior colleagues, including Pranab Mukherjee and A K Antony, to consider the demands raised by Hazare. He also met Home Minister P Chidambaram and Deshmukh separately.

The 74-year-old Gandhian made it clear to the Prime Minister through his emissary and Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh that he will consider ending the fast if Parliament starts discussing tomorrow morning and an "agreement" is reached on three key issues.
Deshmukh, the first ranking political leader from Congress who was roped in after last night's breakdown in talks, met Hazare at Ramlila Maidan this afternoon when the activist conveyed in writing to the Prime Minister his demands.

Late in the night, Mukherjee, who is the Leader of Lok Sabha, held discussions with senior colleagues, including Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal, to work out the wording of the resolution on which a discussion will take place.

Though there was no official word on what the motion would say and whether it would be under a rule which entails voting, it is believed that it would be in the shape of a document that will enlist the features of Jan Lokpal Bill along with the elements of those prepared by other civil society sections. 

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