Cong boycotts Lokpal selection panel meet again

Cong boycotts Lokpal selection panel meet again

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. PTI file photo

In his fifth letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has accused the government of spreading a canard about non-cooperation by the Opposition in selection of Lokpal.

Kharge, yet again, declined to attend the meetings of the Lokpal Selection Committee contending that as a 'special invitee', he does not have the right to record his opinion but only be present as an observer.

“The government continues to invite me as a special invitee to the Selection Committee meeting despite being aware of the fact that there is no provision under Section 4 of the Lokpal Act, 2013. Accepting this invitation  without rights of participation, recording of opinion and voting would be violative of both the letter and spirit of the Lokpal Act,” Kharge said in a letter to the Prime Minister dated September 2, 2018.

Kharge had written similar letters on February 28, April 10, July 18, and August 18 declining the invitation to attend the meetings of the Lokpal Selection Committee.

“I am also aware that the government is using this opportunity to spread a canard that the Opposition is not co-operating in implementing the Lokpal Act despite the fact that the government itself maintains that I am not a member of the Selection Committee,” he said.

Lack of sincerity

Kharge, the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, added that the very fact that the government was forced to act by the Supreme Court indicates the lack of seriousness and sincerity on its (govt) part  in implementing the Lokpal Act.

“I am, therefore, forced once again to respectfully decline the invitation to attend the meeting of the Selection Committee until the leader of the single largest opposition party is conferred the status of a full-fledged member as envisioned in the Lokpal Act, 2013,” Kharge said.