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Indian gov't holds first talks with Hazare team

Supporters of activist Anna Hazare fasting in protest against corruption enter into talks with Indian government over passing Hazare's anti-graft bill

AP , Tuesday 23 Aug 2011
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The Indian government held its first talks Tuesday with supporters of fasting activist Anna Hazare, seeking a way out of a high-stakes standoff over new anti-corruption legislation.

Law Minister Salman Khurshid met with Arvind Kejriwal, a senior member of Hazare's Indian Against Corruption campaign, for what both men described as preliminary discussions to sound out each other's position.

"There has been no progress on the contentious issues. We just had general discussions," Kejriwal told reporters.

"We met them to get information, understand their view point. There was no agenda."

The talks came on the eighth day of 74-year-old Hazare's fast, which is aimed at forcing the government to adopt his own version of a new anti-corruption bill.

Hazare's protest has captured the public imagination in India, triggering huge protests and boxing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's graft-tainted government into a tight political corner.

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