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Kharge declines PM's invite to be 'special invitee' for meeting to select Lokpal


New Delhi, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has declined Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to attend , as “special invitee”, a meeting called to pick the Lokpal, saying that the move was 'a concerted effort to keep the voice of the Opposition out of the selection process'. 'Let me state on behalf of myself, my party and the entire opposition that 'special invitee' invitation is a concerted 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 spirit of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 in Toto. A perusal simplicitor of the Lokpal Act, 2013, its intent and objectives reflects that 'Leader of opposition ' cannot be substituted as a 'Special invitee'. 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 said in a letter to the PM. Asserting that his ' mere presence as a special invitee without rights of participation, recording of opinion and voting would be a mere eyewash”. Mr Kharge said,'In these circumstances it is must to respectfully decline the invite as special invitee to uphold the inviolability of the Lokpal Act, 2013 as the current proceedings have reduced the sacred procedure to a political pretence.' Apart from the Prime Minister, Thursday’s high-powered meeting will be attended by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

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