Mallikarjun Kharge declines PM's invite to attend Lokpal meet as 'special invitee'

File photo of Mallikarjun Kharge. Photograph:( DNA )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 01, 2018, 05.28 AM (IST) Kartikeya Sharma

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday declined an invitation to participate in the meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the selection committee of the Lokpal. 

Kharge in his letter to the Prime Minister stated that there was no point attending the meeting as ''special invitee'' as it does not have the power to vote, record dissent and participate, he said in the letter. 

The government could have chosen to address him as Leader of Opposition of the single largest party, he said and added that to this effect, an amendment was made, and select committee too had put its seal on the change but the ruling dispensation neither introduced the bill nor showed any inclination to pass it.

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Centre had been under pressure to speed up the work on the appointment of Lokpal post Supreme Court’s observations. The Lokpal bill was passed in December 2013 and brought into effect on 2014 January but incumbent government has not been able to appoint Lokpal for past 4 years. The matter has been complicated because of the strained relationship between Congress and BJP and also former’s much-reduced size in Lok Sabha which led to the denial of the status of leader of Opposition, he said in the letter.