Letter from PM
The Prime Minister has written to Shri Anna Hazare on the Lokpal issue.
The text of the letter is as follows:
“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 viz. 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 Lok Pal 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
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 Parliament.
As you are aware, the Lok Pal 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. Equally, I do maintain that they are fully entitled to make any changes to
the Bill introduced by the Govt. and referred to them. In that view of the matter, the formal non
introduction of the Jan Lokpal Bill version by the government is irrelevant and would largely boil down to
a semantic debate.
Nevertheless, 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
alongwith 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 Lok Pal 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.”