In a setback to the government’s efforts for a political unanimity on keeping parties out of the RTI, the Trinamool Congress and senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh have decided to break ranks and oppose changes in the transparency law during the Monsoon session of Parliament beginning on Monday.
Trinamool Congress will vote against the amendments proposed by the government to the Right to Information Act and Singh said his conscience did not allow him to dilute the law for “petty political considerations”, since he was part of the cabinet which gave birth to it in 2005.
This token opposition, however, is not going to pose any problem to the government, since an overwhelming majority in Parliament is in favour of keeping political parties out of RTI. Apart from the Trinamool, only the newly born Aam Aadmi Party led by activist Arvind Kejriwal has opposed the government move.
The cabinet on Thursday had given its nod to keep political parties out of the RTI Act by approving changes in the seven year-old landmark transparency law to overturn the Central Information Commission’s June 3 ruling on the issue.
“The government has not been able to provide any convincing argument on why the functioning of political parties should not be transparent,” said senior Trinamool leader Saugata Roy.
“It seems some parties are scared of making their sources of funding public, but the Trinamool will oppose these unjustified amendments in Parliament,” Roy said.
Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said “Political parties should understand mere statements on curbing black money and eradicating corruption will no longer satisfy the public. They have to convert their words into action.”