Kharge to boycott Lokpal meet today, tells PM Modi Opposition can't be 'voiceless'
New Delhi, Mar 15: Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has decided to boycott the Lokpal Selection Committee meeting on Thursday, accusing government of using his "refusal" to attend the Lokpal selection panel meeting as an "excuse" for not appointing the country's first ombudsman.
He has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterating his objection to invitation extended to him for the selection panel meeting as a "special invitee".
Kharge maintained that he would attend it only after relevant changes are made in the law. He hit out at the Modi government for not amending the Lokpal Act to facilitate participation of the opposition in the Lokpal's selection process.
He said, "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 a member of the Selection Committee."
This comes in the wake of a Supreme Court direction to the Centre on March 7 giving it 10 days to inform it about the possible dates when the selection panel for the appointment of the country's first Lokpal will meet.
Parliament had passed the Lokpal Act in 2013, when the Congress-led UPA government was in power. The law provides for a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to probe the cases of corruption against public servants.