PM steps up efforts to end deadlock over Lokpal Bill

New Delhi: Amid the stalemate over Lokpal Bill, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday stepped up efforts to resolve the issue.

Singh, who held discussions with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her political secretary Ahmad Patel, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee earlier in the day, held a second round of deliberations with senior ministers this afternoon as activist Anna Hazare, who is sitting on a fast-unto death, declared `Jail Bharo` agitation from April 13.

Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, Sibal, Mukherjee and Law Minister Veerappa Moily met the Prime Minister at his official residence.

So far, Sibal had been holding discussions with Hazare`s emissaries — Swami Agnivesh and Arvind Kejriwal.

Hazare has been on a fast-unto-death since Monday demanding formation of a joint committee to draft an effective Lokpal Bill.

Sibal had held two rounds of talks with Agnivesh and Kejriwal but differences persist on the issue of the chairmanship of the committee being given to a civil society member and an official notification being issued in this regard.