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Manmohan Singh breaks silence, justifies Anna Hazare's detention

Wednesday, 17 August 2011 - 11:15am IST Updated: Wednesday, 17 August 2011 - 12:04pm IST | Place: New Delhi

Singh said Hazare had sought to impose his version of Lokpal Bill which was "totally misconceived" and fraught with "grave consequences".

Asserting that Parliament was the sole body to frame laws, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said Anna Hazare had sought to impose his version of Lokpal Bill which was "totally misconceived" and fraught with "grave consequences" for Parliamentary democracy.

Making a statement in both Houses of Parliament in the wake of action against Hazare and his supporters, Singh said the government acknowledges the right of citizens to hold peaceful protests but permission for these is given subject to "appropriate conditions".

Amid continued chants of "shame shame" by opposition benches, he appealed to all political parties to ensure that the government and its processes and Parliament and its processes function smoothly and effectively.

While giving details of the sequence of events that led to civil activist's arrest and subsequent release, Singh said Hazare had been held as a preventive measure because of apprehension of breach of peace.

"The government does not seek any confrontation with any section of the society. But when some sections of society deliberately challenge the authority of government and prerogative of Parliament, it is the bounden duty of the government to maintain peace and tranquility," he asserted after demand by all Opposition parties that nothing short of Prime Minister's statement would satisfy them.

"Hazare may be inspired by high ideals in his campaign to set up a strong and effective Lokpal. However, the path that he has chosen to impose his draft of a bill upon Parliament is totally misconceived and fraught with grave consequences for our Parliamentary democracy," he said.

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