Mallikarjun Kharge rejects invite to attend Lokpal meet

New Delhi: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has refused the government’s offer to attend the scheduled meeting of the Lokpal Selection Committee on Friday, saying there was no provision for a “Special Invitee” to attend the meet.

“Since there is no provision under Section 4 of the Lokpal Act, 2013 for a Special Invitee to be a part of the Selection Committee or attend these meetings, I am once again forced to respectfully decline this invitation,” Kharge wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His letter dated March 14 came following a letter by the Department of Training and Personnel inviting him to attend the meeting.

The Opposition leader also accused the government of using his refusal to attend the past meetings of the Selection Committee as a special invitee as an “excuse” to not appoint a Lokpal. This is the seventh time Kharge has refused to attend the Selection Committee meeting.

“Since 2014, the government has not made any attempt to amend the relevant provisions of the Lokpal Act to include the leader of the single largest party in the Opposition to be a member of the Selection Committee,” he wrote. Kharge said a Special Invitee would not have any rights of participation in the process of selection of the Lokpal and that he cannot accept the Opposition being made voiceless in a critical manner.

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