Govt in bind, admits PM

Govt in bind, admits PM

New Delhi: Admitting that the government was in a “bind" from which it has to come out, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday night that “practical and pragmatic" solutions have to be found to the Lokpal issue.

However, the Prime Minister indicated that the government does not favour withdrawal of the Lokpal Bill already introduced by it in Parliament and being considered by a standing committee.

Singh shook his head to indicate this when asked whether the government would accept the demand of major opposition parties for withdrawal of the government Bill and its replacement by a fresh Bill incorporating clauses from drafts from various quarters.

Singh said Hazare should listen to the unanimous sentiment of all parties and end his fast.

“All-party meeting has appealed that Hazare should end his fast. We hope he will listen to the unanimous sentiment of all parties," the Prime Minister said interacting with reporters at an Iftaar organized at his residence.

On the deadline set by Team Anna on passage of the Janlokpal Bill in Parliament, Singh said it was their suggestion. “It does not mean we accept everything".

He said there was scope for give and take on the Lokpal issue.

“I am hopeful but it will require efforts of everybody. Everybody will have to pool in their wisdom," he said adding a “practical and pragmatic solution has to be found".

Asked whether the situation could go out of hand, Singh said “our effort is to ensure that tempers do not go out of control."

On inclusion of the office of the Prime Minister under the ambit of the Lokpal, he said “I have always been in favour of inclusion of PM in Lokpal but my experienced colleagues say it will not be desirable."

“If winter is here can spring be far behind"? was Singh’s reply to a question on how hopeful he was to find a solution to the Lokpal issue.