Team Anna declared on Thursday that there would be no going back on its stand on Lokpal bill, and the Gandhian would go on fast from August 16 to demand a strong bill.
The Core Committee of India Against Corruption met on Thursday morning to finalise the strategy of the movement which starts with this fast. Team Anna had to come out with this clarification following a statement of Swami Agnivesh on Wednesday on a national TV channel in which he asserted that the team was “very very flexible” on issues like inclusion of prime minister or higher judiciary in the ambit of the Lokpal but the sticking point is bringing lower bureaucracy in it.
“We are not ready to compromise with anyone till our demands are met. The deadlock continues. We are open for any dialogue but there is no invitation from the government yet,” said Arvind Kejriwal. “Swami Aginvesh’s statement was misinterpreted. We do not have any difference on our stand on Lokpal. The team had categorically stated this position to the Parliamentary Panel yesterday,” said Manis Sisodia to Deccan Herald. Swami
Agnivesh was present in the Core Committee’s meeting held at the residence of Prashant Bhushan, attended by Anna Hazare and others. “Swami Agnivesh is important member of the core committee,” asserted the spokesperson.
Though Team Anna is sticking to its position, it is also reciprocating to the government’s soft gestures. The team has shown openness to any dialogue with the government. Apart from demonstrating its firmness in their stand on Lokpal, Anna’s team is trying to answer Congress’ allegation of its proximity to Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh.
India Against Corruption organised an all-religion prayer meeting at Jantar Mantar in the evening which was attended by Hindu, Muslim and Christian priests who supported the anti-graft movement. Meanwhile, the anti-graft agitators have started preparing for the Gandhian’s fast at the Jaiprakash Narayan Park near Feroz Shah Kotla cricket ground in central Delhi. Anna threatened to stop drinking water if the government arrested him before or during the fast and tried to force feed him.