Two days ahead of the next meeting of the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill, civil society members shot off a letter to Singh alleging that the government appeared to be shrinking the scope of the anti-corruption regime and non-inclusion of the Prime Minister under the ambit of the Lokpal would be a "retrograde" step.
Raising their pitch on the issue, the activists also took on Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for accusing the civil society of trying to undermine democracy and said his statement betrayed a "distorted understanding of democracy and arrogance of power".
"You are one of the most honest Prime Ministers the country has had. It is ironical that your own government should seek to take the Prime Minister out of the purview of Lokpal's investigations.
"We are wondering what happened post March 2011, which prompted the government to suddenly take a U-turn on this issue. Till now the Prime Minister could be investigated by the CBI. Why an honest Prime Minister like you should be scared of being investigated by an independent Lokpal," the activists said in the three-page letter to Singh.
Activist Arvind Kejriwal termed the government insistence on non-inclusion of the Prime Minister under the purview of Lokpal as "completely mysterious" when governments for the past ten years were of the view that this post should come under the ombudsman.