Surprising: Narendra Modi surprises Sonia Gandhi, inducts Congress leader in his team

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Modi, Kharge and Sonia Gandhi
New Delhi, Nov 4: Congress President might be surprised to know that Prime Minister Narendra Modi inducted one of her party leaders in his team. It has been confirmed that Modi inducted Mallikarjun Kharge into the three-member selection committee which will select the Chief Information Commissioner.

Kharge, who is the Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, was selected following the advice of the Law Ministry as there was lack of clarity on the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha.

According to the Right To Information (RTI) Act, selection of Chief Information Commissioner should be done by a panel of three members comprising Prime Minister, who shall be the Chairperson of the committee, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and a cabinet minister.

While Modi selected Defence Minister Arun Jaitley as the third member of the panel, he faced difficulties while selecting the Leader of Opposition.

Kharge is the Leader of Indian National Congress in Lok Sabha

Earlier Lok Sabha Secretariat had conveyed to the Department of Personnel and Training on Jun 19, 2014, that "as on date, there is no Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha. Indian National Congress with a strength of 44 members is, however, the single largest party in opposition to the Government in Lok Sabha".

However, the RTI Act says, "For the purposes of removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that where the Leader of Opposition in the House of the People has not been recognised as such, the Leader of the single largest group in opposition of the Government in the House of the People shall be deemed to be the Leader of Opposition."

Following the rule of the Act, Modi selected Kharge as Congress party sources informed that Kharge is the Leader of Indian National Congress in Lok Sabha which is the single largest party in opposition in Lok Sabha.

What will Modi-led panel do?

The three member panel will select Chief Information Commissioner. Modi government is yet to make an appointment for the post which has been left vacant since Aug 23, 2014 when the then Chief Information Commissioner retired on attaining 65 years of age.

The Chief Information Commissioner heads the Central Information Commission (CIC). The commission, which was set up under the RTI Act in 2005, is the authorised body,

It is an authorised body which works under the Government of India. It acts upon complaints from those individuals who have not been able to submit information requests to a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer due to either the officer not having been appointed, or because the respective Central Assistant Public Information Officer or State Assistant Public Information Officer refused to receive the application for information under the RTI Act.

OneIndia News
(With agency inputs)

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