An infuriated Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, in a letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, declined the invitation to attend the Lokpal Meeting after being addressed as a 'special invitee'.
He said, "Special Invitee Invitation is a consorted effort to exclude the independent voice of the Opposition altogether from the selection process of the most important anti-corruption watchdog. It negates the letter and the spirit of The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, in toto,"
"It is a matter of surprise that your Government is choosing to adopt this route as a mere paper formality rather than seek any meaningful and constructive participation," he lashed out.
He also pointed out that "On December 18, 2014, a Boll to amend Lokpal Act, 2013 was brought for substituting 'Leader of Opposition' to the 'Leader of the Single Largest Party', I understand that even the Select Committee of Parliament had ut its seal of approval on the amending bill, yet the Government has failed to introduce and pass it."
Terming the invitation as a mere whitewash, he remarked, "My mere presence as a Special Invitee without rights of participation, recording of opinion and voting would be a mere whitewash, ostensibly aimed at showcasing the participation of Opposition in the selection process,"