Accusing that the Narendra Modi government of using his “refusal” to attend the Lokpal selection panel meeting as an “excuse” for not appointing the country’s first ombudsman, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge today against has written a letter to Prime reiterating his objection to invitation extended to him for the selection panel meeting as a “special invitee”.
Kharge, who has been invited by the government to attend the selection panel meeting as a “special invitee”, 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.
The Lokpal Search Committee led by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, formed by the government last year, has forwarded three panels of names for chairperson, judicial members and non-judicial members to the Lokpal selection committee. A meeting of the committee is scheduled later in the day.