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RTI amendment bill: Activists intensify stir

The activists have launched a 'symbolic' referendum across the country against the amendments to the RTI law.

india Updated: Aug 12, 2006 20:42 IST

Right to Information (RTI) activists have stepped up campaign against the proposed changes to the RTI law amid reported moves by the government to table the amendment bill in Parliament next week.

The activists have launched a 'symbolic' referendum across the country against the amendments.

"We do not condemn democratic principles. Infact we want democracy to be practised in its true form," RTI activist Aruna Roy told reporters in New Delhi.

Ballots for casting votes have been kept at various places in Delhi, Gujarat and Rajasthan, she said adding that the first counting of votes will take place on the occasion of Independence Day in the capital.

The activists are also meeting MPs of different political parties to garner support against the proposed amendments and various political parties, including CPI-M, NCP and Trinamool Congress and former Prime Minister VP Singh have came out against the amendments, she said.

"The government is so tight-lipped about it that no copy of the amended bill has been given to the MPs till now," Roy said.

Magsaysay awardees and RTI campaigners Anna Hazare and Sandeep Pandey are already on indefinite hunger strikes at Alandi in Maharashtra and New Delhi respectively as part of the campaign.

"Apart from the file notings, people cannot access information on non-planned expenditure like repair of roads after the amendment," RTI activist Shekhar Singh said.

Meanwhile, the Officer's Association of Steel Authority of India Limited's Bhilai Steel Plant has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing shock about the proposed amendments.