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Indian anti-graft crusader shows will to compromise

(Xinhua)

09:09, August 23, 2011

MUMBAI, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Indian anti-corruption movement leader Anna Hazare said he is ready to talk to few selective governmental officials and could exclude judiciary from proposed Lokpal Bill, according to local media reports on Monday.

Anna Hazare, who sits on his seventh day of fast, will only negotiate with Indian Prime Minister's Office, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi or Maharashtra state chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, said a report.

Meanwhile, the Anna team asked for stronger judicial accountability and insisted that the anti-corruption bill shall be passed by Aug. 30.

On the other hand, Abhishek Singhvi, Chairman of parliamentary Standing Committee on Lokpal, said his committee will give recommendations on government-proposed Lokpal Bill and make the bill "acceptable to all" within three months, which is much longer than the requirement of Anna team.

Abhishek Singhvi also said the objectives and content from both sides are similar if not identical and the difference mainly lies in the methodology to fight corruption.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday said, "We are open to a reasoned debate on all these issues and all concerned individuals should convey their concern on different aspects of the Bill to their representatives in parliament and to the Standing Committee."

"The creation of the Lokpal as an institution will help. But it will not solve the problem. We need to act on multiple fronts," said Manmohan Singh when addressing Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta.

Manmohan Singh also has convened a high level meeting with senior cabinet ministers on Monday evening to discuss governmental strategies amid nationwide anti-corruption movement.

Anna Hazare, the 74-year-old anti-corruption social activist, has started his fasting last Tuesday when he was shortly arrested in Indian capital New Delhi before leaving his residence to sit on hunger strike.


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