Against the backdrop of indefinite fast by Anna Hazare coming to an end, Law Minister Salman Khurshid has said the government is “much better equipped” now to deal with such situations even as he underlined that the Lokpal will be created before the 2014 elections. He also indicated that had the contents of a letter sent by the Prime Minister’s Office to Hazare not come to the notice of Team Anna members, something could have come of his June 23 “private meeting” with the activist. “It’s not for me to give an assessment because my Prime Minister must do so. But if you are asking me about my own assessment, my own feelings, I think yes, absolutely.
In fact, to say it will be long before the Parliament elections of 2014. But I can’t give you a date. I can’t give a deadline,” Khurshid told Karan Thapar in ‘Devil’s Advocate’ programme on CNN-IBN. The Law Minister was responding to a query on whether he could assure that Lokpal will be created by Parliament before the 2014 polls. Asked whether the government was ‘wiser’ by its experience, Khurshid said “we are much better equipped today…we learn everyday from everything we do and I think learning is a good thing….” Referring to his “private meeting” with Hazare held near Pune that was arranged by mutual friends, he said the activist wanted three things: inclusion of Group A, B, C, D officials under Lokpal, creation of Lokayukta in the states and a Citizen’s charter. He said when he explained that government has already done that, Hazare wanted the government to put it on record in a letter.
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