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Dodging RTI to suit themselves

As the deadline of 15 July went past, the political parties, with the exception of Communist Party of India (CPI), have been unanimous in shirking the appointment of a Public Information Officer, as deemed necessary by the Chief Information Commission (CIC) that sought to bring the parties under the significant Right to Information Act (2005). Major political parties such as Congress, BJP, BSP, and CPI(M) have displayed acute disdain for the direction issued by the CIC, which had envisioned a polity of accountability and free of corruption, by making it mandatory for the parties to declare their source of funding.

In effect, only one of the six parties that had been deemed fit to be considered organisations that should be brought under the ambit of RTI, has made the effort of declaring his financial resources, a paltry sum of Rs three crores, albeit the parties already have substantial financial help from the government through aids and grants. However, the transparency watchdog’s shouts and murmurs to instill a culture of political honesty and clarity has clearly fallen into deaf ears. Obviously, the political parties in India are too inured in their mire of scams and too used to corruption to even dream of rocking the boat.

Evidently, for them, it will be foolhardy to declare their financial resources, although they cite inter-party rivalry and destabilisation of the democratic machinery as reasons for not appointing a PIO. Obviously, what the political figures want to delegitimise by terming it  ‘transgression’ of the landmark RTI Act is but the result of actual empowerment of the citizenry.
MPost

MPost

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