Saturday , 7 December 2019
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NEW DELHI: On the eighth day of Mr Anna Hazare’s fast, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh Tuesday reached out to the social activist, urging him to end the stir with a promise that his views on the Lokpal Bill would be considered. Following is the text of the letter:

PM’s letter to Anna

NEW DELHI: On the eighth day of Mr Anna Hazare’s fast, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh Tuesday reached out to the social activist, urging him to end the stir with a promise that his views on the Lokpal Bill would be considered. Following is the text of the letter:

“Over the last few days, I have watched with increasing concern the state of your health. Despite the differences between the government and your team, I do not think that anybody is or should be in any doubt about the deep and abiding concern which I and our government share about your health, arising from your continuing fast. I have no hesitation in saying that we need your views and actions in the service of the nation, from a robust physical condition and not in the context of frail or failing health.”
“I have maintained that your and our object is identical, that is, to reduce significantly, if not eliminate, the scourge of corruption from this country. At worst, our paths and methodologies may differ, though I do believe that even those differences have been exaggerated. The government is committed to passing a constitutionally valid and the best possible Lokpal legislation with inputs from Civil Society with the broadest possible consensus. We are ready to talk to anybody. However, we will have to keep in mind the parliamentary supremacy and constitutional obligations in matters of legislation. As a government, we respect and are responsible to the will of the Indian People as represented by the Parliament.”
“As you are aware, the Lokpal Bill is now before a Standing Committee of Parliament. I have made it clear earlier and would like to restate that all options are open before the Standing Committee. Undoubtedly, they would be entitled to consider, in detail and clause by clause, subject to their discretion, not only the Bill introduced by us but the Jan Lokpal Bill and other versions like those prepared by Ms Aruna Roy.”
“In view of the concern repeatedly expressed by your team that the Jan Lokpal Bill version should be before Parliament, but more particularly and more importantly, in view of my deep and abiding concern for your health, our government is prepared to request the Speaker, Lok Sabha to formally refer the Jan Lokpal Bill also to the Standing Committee for their holistic consideration along with everything else. Furthermore, if you have any anxieties about time and speed, the government can formally request the Standing Committee to try, subject to its discretion and the necessity to reflect deeply and spend adequate time on an important Bill, and fast track their deliberations to the extent reasonably feasible.”
“I would like to say that this letter and each suggestion herein is actuated solely by the twin considerations of deep and genuine concern about your health and the emergence of a strong and effective Lokpal Act in accordance with established constitutional precept and practice. I do hope that you will consider my suggestions and end your fast to regain full health and vitality.”
 

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