New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) Activists Monday came down heavily on the government for making amendments exempting political parties from the Right to Information (RTI) Act and threatened to launch a public agitation against the move.
The cabinet cleared amendments to the RTI Act, which will be introduced during the ongoing monsoon session of parliament. The move to amend the act was a reaction to a Central Information Commission order which declared six political parties to be public authorities under the RTI Act.
"Spending money on elections makes one prone to corruption. By not passing the RTI act without the amendment, the political class has lost a historic opportunity," RTI activist Aruna Roy said at a press conference here.
"This will lead to a big problem. Every organisation will now ask to be excused from this act," she added.
Activist Harsh Mander said: "Every agency is happy to have transparency. But when it comes to them (the government), they don't want it."
The activists have also written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh opposing the proposed amendments to the RTI Act.
"India's governance is going through a credibility crisis as never before, in which all sectors of governance and social formations have been suspect," the letter said.
The letter added: "We as citizens of India demand that it (the RTI act) not be amended. The act has enabled the making of informed choices and strengthened participatory democracy."
The letter has been signed by 300 people, including Roy and activists Harsh Mander and Nikhil Dey. "More than 6,000 people have sent their signatures online supporting the campaign," Roy said.
The activists also announced a campaign to oppose the amendments at Jantar Mantar from Tuesday.