NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has yet again turned down the invitation to attend the Lokpal meet objecting to being invited as a ‘special invitee’ reasoning that he “cannot accept opposition being made voiceless in a critical matter.”

Explaining his objection on being invited as a ‘special invitee’, Kharge said that a ‘special invitee’ has no rights to participate in the process of selection of a Lokpal and he cannot accept “opposition being made voiceless in a critical matter.”

The invitation extended by the department of personnel and training (DoPT) was for the meeting of Lokpal selection committee meeting dated March 15, 2019.

Kharge in his letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi noted that he has turned down six similar invitations extended to him by the DoPT in 2018.

He said that 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 made a member of the selection committee.

“You are well aware that nothing stops the government from appointing a Lokpal even in the absence of the leader of opposition under section 4(2) of the Lokpal Act. Despite this the government has used by refusal to attend the meetings as an excuse for not appointing a Lokpal for last five years,” wrote Kharge.

He further wrote that the government’s only intention has been to exclude the opposition from the process. Substantiating his claim, Kharge added that all the meetings were held as per schedule and a search committee was formed which shortlisted the names for the Lokpal.

“By excluding the oppostion, this process is being vitiated,” said Kharge.

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