A day after the state declared names of the new State Information Commissioner (SIC) and Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), a right to information (RTI) activist from Ralegan Siddhi at Ahmednagar has refused to end his indefinite hunger strike.
Krishnaraj Rao, who on Friday completed three days of his strike, said he wouldn’t call it off and will lay down his life if his voice was not heard.
Rao has been demanding transparency in the appointment of the Chief State Information Commissioner and other Information Commissioners. A press note issued by his fellow activists said that Rao is fasting at Ralegan Siddhi as noted social activist Anna Hazare has his ashram there and they intend to rope in Hazare’s help for the cause.
GR Vora, an RTI activist said, “We know that half the battle is lost with announcement of the names of Information Commissioners, but we still have a chance as the Governor has yet not appointed them. So, Rao is going ahead with his strike.”
Vora added that he has been in constant touch with Rao.
“I have been speaking to him and he now says that if the government, which is a representative of the people, does not hear him then there is no use living,” said Vora.
In a press note issued earlier, Rao said: “Closed door selection of SIC without criteria, rules and procedure is totally against the spirit of the RTI Act.”
He demanded that the selection process be conducted in an open and transparent manner, so that eminent persons from civil society may apply as intended by the Act.
“The positions of SIC and Chief SIC are currently being used as a plum post-retirement position for bureaucrats, although these posts actually require persons with a judicious mind and independent stance,” read Rao’s press note.