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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chidambaram, Sibal to be blamed for talks breakdown

New Delhi: Senior ministers Kapil Sibal and P. Chidambaram strongly opposed the talks between government and civil society representatives and jeopardised the negotiations over the contentious Lokpal bill, activist Arvind Kejriwal said Thursday, the 10th day of Anna Hazare's indefinite fast.

"It is unfortunate that some elements in the government were trying to jeopardise the talks. We had reached (a) consensus," Kejriwal told reporters, a day after parleys ended in a logjam.

Kejriwal squarely blamed IT and Communication Minister Kapil Sibal and Home Minister P. Chidambaram for the breakdown.

"Sibal and Chidambaram strongly opposed the talks process. Perhaps that is why the government took a U-turn on the issues we had (earlier) agreed upon," Kejriwal said.

"We have become victims of internal politics of Congress. How many rounds of talks we have had with senior leaders like Kapil Sibal and Chidambaram but nothing has happened till now. Whom will we talk to?," he added.

The two sides are expected to meet again around noon to thrash out a solution to the row, amid growing concerns over Anna Hazare's health.

Kejriwal said that civil society representatives believed that the issues could be solved through dialogue but refused to commit if they would attend the fourth round of talks.

"We will decide that in our core committee meeting," he said.

Signalling that the negotiations may have hit a dead end, Team Anna member Kiran Bedi said they they didn't know who to talk to and resolve the crisis.

"Who do we talk to? We don't who we talk to. They shift the responsibilities. One person says talk to other, other says talk to another. There is nobody to listen to us. This is dangerous," Bedi said.

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