Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday declined the government's invitation to attend the meeting of the Selection Committee for Lokpal appointment as a special invitee.
The government had invited Kharge for the meeting, which will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.
Writing a letter to Prime Minister Modi, Kharge launched a scathing attack at the government and said that they are making "concerted effort to exclude the independent voice of the Opposition" by extending a special invitee invitation.
According to the Lokpal Act, only the leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha can be a member of the Selection Committee. Kharge is not the leader of the opposition, so he is not a part of the committee.
"A 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," the letter read.
"My mere presence as special invitee without rights of participation, recording of my opinion and voting would be a mere eyewash ostensibly aimed at showcasing the participation of the opposition in the selection process," Kharge added.
"In these circumstances, I must decline the invite as a special invitee to uphold the inviolability of the Lokpal Act 2013 as the current proceedings have reduced a sacred procedure to a political presence," he added.
The letter was also tweeted by the Congress party.
Apart from the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will also attend the meeting as special invitees.