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NCPRI Press Release about the Nation wide protest opposing the amendments to the RTI act

NCPRI Press Release about the Nation wide protest opposing the amendments to the RTI act

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NCPRI Press Release about the Nation wide protest opposing the amendments to the RTI act
NCPRI Press Release about the Nation wide protest opposing the amendments to the RTI act

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Published by: Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu on Aug 06, 2013
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Press Release
With the exception of CPI, none of other six political parties declared as Public Authoritywere willing to dialogue with over 500 RTI activists at the Jan Manch
Delhi, 6 August, 2013: Raising the bar of protest, the Jan Manch of over 500 people stronglycondemned the proposed move by all political parties to amend the RTI Act. Taking forwardher vehement criticism of the “undue haste with which all major political parties are seekingto amend the RTI Act without any consultation and dialogue with the people,” Aruna Roy,leading RTI activist, emphasized that this “anti-people move which has sparked protests indifferent parts of the country will soon explode into a nation-wide mass protest.” The on-linecampaign supported by the website Change.Org has within a few hours got nearly 25000 people signing the petition against the RTI amendment. The protests have gone global andviral with NRIs in Washington demonstrating and from 30 cities calling up Members of Parliament and urging them to not push this amendment without due consultation with the peopleIt is significant that out of all the six parties that have been declared by the CentralInformation Commission (CIC) to be ‘public authorities’ under the RTI Act, with theexception of the CPI, all others stayed away from the Jan Manch, organised by the NationalCampaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI).Explaining the party position on this issue, Shri D. Raja, Rajya Sabha MP stated that whileopposing the CIC’s declaration that six political parties who were privy to governmentfunding should be declared as Public Authority, they agree with the RTI activists thattransparency and accountability of political parties is necessary. Elaborating on this, D. Rajastated that “during elections given the unholy nexus between the capitalists and political parties there is no doubt that RTI is an invaluable weapon to fight fraudulent and corrupt practices” and went on to add that the left parties have in the past always opposed allamendments to the RTI Act.Braving the rain, grassroots activists from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir,Gujarat Bihar, U.P., Haryana other than Delhi poured into the capital to not only protestsagainst RTI amendments but to also demonstrate the growing groundswell for the anti-amendment protest. From Gujarat alone over hundred thousand signatures protesting againstthe RTI amendments have been sent to the President. Rahul Ram of the Indian Ocean bandextended his support to the cause and performed several songs at the Jan Manch.The protesters found strong allies in small and just emerging parties such as Aam AadmiParty, Loksatta and Loktantra Bachhao Morcha. Speaking on behalf of Aam Aadmi Party,Yogendra Yadav exhorted all political parties irrespective of whether they got funding fromthe government or not, to voluntarily function like a Public Authority. Agreeing that political parties had some genuine concerns which needed to be looked into, he strongly opposed any blanket exemption of parties and in particular urged CPI to “revert to its earlier position of welcoming the CIC’s move and break away” from the pack so to speak so that we “restorethe ethical foundation of politics.”Welcoming the decision of Loksatta Party to go as far as to appoint PIOs to give informationto the public, Nikhil Dey, pointed out that “given the overwhelming reluctance of political

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