Hazare put no deadline for house panel, says Tewari


New Delhi : A day after Team Anna met members of the parliamentary committee looking into the Lokpal bill, panel member and Congress leader Manish Tewari Thursday said that the activists never told them that the bill should be rejected by Aug 16.

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“They never told us that we should reject the report before Aug 16,” Tewari told reporters here.

Talking to reporters after the meeting Wednesday, Anna Hazare said he would go on a fast if the bill is not rejected by the Parliamentary Standing Committee by Aug 16.

“He affirmed his respect for parliamentary democracy and that he has never spoken against parliament,” Tewari said.

“I would say in interest of transparency, the verbatim of the meeting should be made public,” he added.

Meanwhile, sources said that the Parliamentary Standing Committee on personnel, public grievances, law and justice, headed by Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, may hold more meetings with Team Anna for finalising the anti-graft bill.

Anna Hazare, along with his team, met the members of the standing committee Wednesday.

“The government draft will not give justice to the poor… we are hopeful with today’s discussion… but the thing is that if all this (rejection of government’s bill) happens by Aug 16, I will stop the fast,” Hazare said.

According to sources, the meeting between Team Anna and the parliamentary committee was cordial, and both sides presented their views.

The sources, however, said that even as the main points of the activists’ version of the bill were raised by them, the issue of bringing the MPs’ action in parliament under the purview of the Lokpal was not raised at the meeting.

The sources also said that the activists were against including NGOs under the ambit of the Lokpal, but later agreed that government supported NGOs should be included.