New Delhi: In a development that could help end the impasse on the Lokpal issue, government and opposition on Saturday reached an agreement under which Parliament will adopt a resolution incorporating the three demands of team Anna with a voice vote.
The turnaround came when BJP heard team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal announce at the Ramlila Ground that the government had conveyed to them the Opposition’s reluctance to vote on a resolution in Parliament on the Lokpal issue.
• Timeline | Anna’s fast politics
NDA working president L. K. Advani, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and her counterpart in Rajya Sahba Arun Jaitley took the matter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Sources said Mukherjee and law minister Salman Kurshid denied that the government had made any such charge.
When the BJP insisted that in the changed circumstances, a resolution should be moved and put to a voice vote, the government agreed to it. Some young ministers and MPs from the Congress also insisted on a resolution and vote as they felt team Anna will not settle for anything less.
It has been decided that the resolution will be moved by Mukherjee. The wording of the resolution was worked out with the Opposition.
Sources said the resolution mentions all the three demands of Anna Hazare, namely Citizens’ Charter, Lokayukta in states and including lower bureaucracy under Lokpal’s ambit. The resolution states that the House agrees “in principle” on these issues. It will be put to a voice vote in both Houses.
Once the resolution is passed, union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh will take its translated Marathi version to Anna Hazare and request him to break his fast.
Soon after the wording of the resolution was agreed upon by the government, Khurshid discussed it with team Anna members Prashant Bhushan and Medha Patkar in a meeting.
There were several twists and turns in the sequence of events since morning involving the government, BJP and team Anna.
Sources said Hazare had informed the government that he was agreeable to even a letter from the Prime Minister stating the sense of the House once the debate got over. But Kejriwal’s allegation led to a change in the script.
Sources said Deshmukh will meet Hazare personally after the resolution is adopted by both Houses. He is also likely to carry along with him Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s reply to the Gandhian’s earlier letter in which had said he will break his fast if Parliament accepts his three conditions and passes the Jan Lokpal Bill.