RTI: Trinamool opposes govt.’s move to exempt political parties

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DEREKKolkata, August 3;The Trinamool Congress on Saturday opposed the government move to exempt political parties from the Right to Information Act saying they should embrace RTI themselves instead of recommending it for others.

“Let us embrace RTI ourselves and not just recommend it for others,” Trinamool Congress MP and Chief Whip of the party in the Rajya Sabha, Derek O’ Brien, told PTI in Kolkata.

“We certainly want political parties to come under the RTI to the degree that is practicable,” he said.

“The parties need to be transparent about their accounts and sources of funding and share these on multiple platforms, besides submitting them to the Election Commission,” he said.

“The same financial transparency must be true for public and civil society organisations such as NGOs,” he said.

The union cabinet on August 1 gave its nod to amend the Right to Information Act to keep political parties out of the ambit of transparency law.

The move followed the Central Information Commission holding that six national parties — Congress, BJP, NCP, CPI(M), CPI and BSP were substantially funded indirectly by the central government and were required to appoint public information officers as they have the character of a public authority under the RTI Act.

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