Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge once again refused to attend the meeting of the Lokpal selection committee as a “special invitee” as the category does not grant Kharge any rights of participation in the selection process.
In a letter to PM Narendra Modi, Kharge wrote that the government had not tried to amend the Lokpal Act to include the leader of the single largest Opposition party as a member of the selection committee, and “nothing stops the government from appointing a Lokpal” even if a leader of Opposition is not there, he said. He reminded Modi that he had objected to be invited as a special invitee at least on six previous occasions.
He said there is no provision for a special invitee to attend the meetings. “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,” he wrote. He accused the government and ministers of repeatedly using his refusal to attend the meetings as an “excuse for not appointing a Lokpal over the last five years”.