Lokpal bill: PM works overtime to get allies on board news
13 December 2011

With the lokpal bill displacing foreign investment in retail on centre-stage, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will today chair a meeting of the ruling United Progressive Alliance to thrash out a common stand on the issue.

Indications are that the government is prepared to climb down considerably from its earlier position, and agree to the inclusion of the prime minister, the lower bureaucracy, and the anti-corruption branch of the Central Bureau of Investigation under the purview of the proposed anti-corruption watchdog. These were key demands on which crusader Anna Hazare's team disagreed with the government version.

On Wednesday, the government is expected to try and reach a consensus with the opposition. Reports say the opposition is not unwilling to compromise if a strengthened version of the bill is presented to it.

Meanwhile team Anna's core committee will meet in New Delhi for two days from Wednesday to chalk out future plans if a strong lokpal bill is not passed in the ongoing winter session of Parliament.

The session officially ends on 21 December, but reports suggest the government may be willing to extend it to allow a thorough debate on the bill.

Hazare has threatened to go on another indefinite fast at Delhi's Ramlila Maidan from 27 December, akin to the earlier fast at the same venue in August, which fired the nation's indignation over widespread corruption.

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Lokpal bill: PM works overtime to get allies on board