benefit of doubt,” said Sandeep Pandey, an acclaimed social activist of the country.He also added, “Hazare’s campaign has raised very interesting issues.His main demand is that a committee consisting half the members from civil society drafts the Lokpal Bill. Even though the government has been discussing the Lokpal Bill for the past 42 years the people are not happy with various versions of the bill. The civil society has been demanding a much more stringent bill. The government’s bill hardly empowers the Lokpal to take any action against the corrupt.”Many activists have mentioned the initiative as second Freedom (from corruption) Struggle by the conscious people of India. Supporting the cause, thousands joined in a candle lit procession in Guwahati on April 8. The citizens of Assam joined the programme, where patriotic songs were played and Tri-colour were waved by the participants.In two separate letters to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and the Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, the septuagenarian activist appealed for brave actions against corruption. Both, with many other high profile leaders from various political parties, appealed Hazare to withdraw his fasting.Meanwhile, the government had three rounds of discussion with the agitating activist, where finally on April 8, Hazare's emissaries namely Swami Agnivesh and Arvind Kejriwal met the Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal, law minister Veerappa Moily and minority affairs minister Salman Khurshid. Hazare indicated that the discussion was almost successful.
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Nava Thakuria, who serves as a Special Correspondent for The Seoul Times, is based in Guwahati of Northeast India. He also contributes articles for many media outlets based in different parts of the glove, and can be contacted at email@example.com
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