11.50 am: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he hoped that the impasse over the Lokpal issue would end soon.
Ahead of the debate on the issue in Parliament, the Prime Minister said he hoped to write to Hazare again. On the possibility of the resolution being passed in Parliament today, Singh said, “It was up to Parliament.”
11.20 pm: Sandip Dikshit and Vijay Bahuguna will represent the Congress in the Lokpal debate in Parliament. Sushma Swaraj and Varun Gandhi will speak on behalf of BJP in the Lok Sabha.
10.38 pm: Team Anna and government held another round of talks today to end the deadlock over the Lokpal Bill ahead of the debate on the issue in Parliament.
Team Anna members Prashant Bhushan and Medha Patkar met Law Minister Salman Khurshid and discussed issues which the government could take up in Parliament during the debate.
Medha Patkar to media: “Only thing that has been discussed is what will come up before Parliament…we have already given Anna’s letter to him.”
Patkar said dialogue between both sides is on. She added that Hazare and his team have not gone back on their three key demands — all civil servants should be brought under Lokpal,
a Citizen Charter should be displayed at all government offices and all states should have Lokayuktas.
“We are still on the same three points, which really matters. The government is responding. Now it is not only the government, it is also the opposition parties. All are positive about the process,” she said.
She said every MP is concerned about Anna’s health. The agitation will continue as has been made clear by Anna. There is no question of ending the protest, she added.
10.15 am: I can fast for another three-four days, my protest will continue till Jan Lokpal Bill is passed.
10.05 am: Anna Hazare addresses supporters at Ramlila Maidan. “Your support is giving me energy. I can fast for more days,” Anna tells the crowd.
Hazare, who did not address his supporters since 8 pm on 25 August, emerged on the dais at around 10 am to a loud cheer from supporters who raised slogans of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai‘,
‘Vande Mataram‘ and ‘Inquilab Zindabad‘.
“I am not doing this for my personal gain. If it was so, I would not have lasted five days. Till Jan Lokpal Bill is passed, my protest will continue,” the Gandhian told his supporters at Ramlila Maidan where he is sitting on a fast.
Hazare said he was surprised at the manner in which the country has responded to his call. “I am surprised that a ‘fakir‘ is getting this support. It is not me who is doing all this. God has pointed fingers at me. He has chosen me to do the work. It is he who is doing all this. I am praised for what I am doing. A ‘fakir‘ should not be praised so much,” he said.
10.00 am: Team Anna in a huddle. Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan, Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal meet again. Manish Sisodia and Akhil Gogoi also present at the meet.
9.40 am: Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal tells CNN-IBN: “I fervently hope Anna ends his fast today. A joint statement will be made by the finance minister shortly. We’ll also have detailed discussions throughout the day. Concerns are being addressed. In fact the Parliament is specially working today.”
9.32 am: Salman Khurshid and Bhayyuji Maharaj to meet at the former’s residence to discuss on the joint statement. Congress’ Pawan Khera and Sandeep Dikshit will also attend the meeting. The joint statement will be approved by Anna.
9.30 am: Supporters at Ramlila Maidan also want Anna to end his fast now. They want a solution now.
9.20 am: Anna Hazare’s BP is low and his samples have been taken for blood test. Anna has also lost weight. Dr Trehan who is monitoring Anna’s health said a final decision whether the Gandhian can continue his fast will be taken this afternoon.
On Anna’s health, Kiran Bedi tweeted: “Dr Trehan has checked him. He looks cheerful and determined. But there are concerns. Wish the Parliament had started the day at 9 Am?”
9.00 am: Congress leaders to meet at Law Minister Salman Khurshid’s residence shortly. A joint statement between the government and Team Anna will be released shortly.
8.45 am: For the first time in 120 years, Mumbai’s famous dhobighat at Mahalaxmi will be shut today in support of Anna Hazare’s cause.
Will Anna Hazare end his fast today? PTI
8.30 am: As Anna Hazare’s fast entered the 12th day today, Ramlila ground witnessed the thinnest crowd since the Gandhian began his agitation for a stronger Lokpal Bill. However, the volunteers said they expected strong numbers as the day progresses. Since its weekend, the number of supporters would increase, they said.
The absence of usual strength of protestors, a familiar scene since Hazare took centrestage at the maidan on 19 August, could be attributed to the wet ground and muggy weather.
Meanwhile, a definite answer to Hazare’s demands of bringing in a strong Lokpal Bill is still to come as the Parliament is expected to have a discussion on various variants of the Bill.
The security has too been strengthened by the police after a group of people clashed with cops in the wee hours of yesterday and created ruckus. The VIP gate, where the incident occurred at around 3 am yesterday, has been secured by a strong posse of police and CRPF personnel. A Delhi police videographer armed with a handycam has also been stationed there.