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Hazare willing for dialogue, Govt opens back channel talks

Hazare willing for dialogue, Govt opens back channel talks

New Delhi: Anna Hazare on Sunday expressed his willingness to have a dialogue on the Lokpal issue with the government which has opened a back channel with him through a top Maharashtra bureaucrat and a spiritual leader even as the Gandhian’s fast entered the sixth day today.

Maharashtra additional chief secretary Umesh Chandra Sarangi, who visited Hazare last night, had a second meeting with the social activist along with Indore-based spiritual leader Baiyujji Maharaj. The spiritual leader is known to several top politicians from Maharashtra.

Sarangi has a good rapport with Hazare having handled several such situations in Maharashtra under former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh when he had either gone on fast or threatened to do so. His meeting was described as “personal" by Team Anna which maintained “no compromise formula" was discussed.

A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that the government was open for discussion, 73-year-old Hazare said his campaign against corruption has not closed the door of dialogue with it to resolve the differences on Lokpal bill.

“We have not closed the door of dialogue. We have kept it open. Only through dialogue the issues can be resolved," he told thousands of his supporters on a humid day at Ramlila Ground on the sixth day of his fast.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Harish Rawat said the Centre has initiated a dialogue process with Team Anna at various levels to break the deadlock.

“The dialogue process has already been initiated at various levels through well-wishers. This dialogue is at various levels which is not parallel to each other but complementary to each other," Rawat told PTI in Dehradun.

The core committee of ‘India Against Corruption´ had a meeting during which its deliberated Prime Minister’s readiness to hold discussions. It said no proposal has come from the government so far.

“With whom and where should we discuss what," Arvind Kejriwal, a key aide of Hazare, said announcing the five decisions taken at the meeting.

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