Cong welcomes Hazare ending fast

New Delhi: Welcoming the end to Gandhian Anna Hazare`s five-day fast over the Lokpal Bill issue, Congress on Saturday said it was looking forward to discussions on the draft for an effective anti-corruption bill.

Replying to questions on how the party and the government accepted the activist`s demands, which they had earlier termed as against Constitutional laws, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said, "Let bygones be bygones. We want to spend our energies on the actual draft of the bill. Our agreement is to move towards a solution".

Singhvi, however, said that the agreement reached with the protestors is not an acceptance that the party`s or the government`s earlier position on the issue was wrong.

"Our agreement is not in any manner an acceptance that our stand was wrong. Congress and the government had opposed on principle and on laws several of their demands. We have agreed… in spite of our opposition," he said.

When repeatedly asked if it was not a surrender on the part of the government before the activists, Singhvi accused the media of trying to create "sensationalism".

"Why do you want to rake up old matters? Because, you want to create sensationalism. We have to look forward as a nation and decide about the future, not the past", he asserted.

He said the party welcomed the fact that the 73-year-old anti-corruption crusader`s fast had ended and it was looking forward to healthy discussion on the bill.

"This is not the time for allegations and counter allegations. This is time to find a solution by sitting in the committee and looking at the provisions", Singhvi said.

Hazare today called off his 98-hour hunger strike after government came out with a gazette notification constituting a Joint Committee of ministers and civil society activists to draft an effective Lokpal Bill.