RTI exemption: Trinamool Congress opposes government move


Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress opposed the government move to exempt political parties from the Right to Information Act saying they should embrace RTI themselves instead of recommending it for others.
"Let us embrace RTI ourselves and not just recommend it for others," said Trinamool Congress MP and Chief Whip of the party in the Rajya Sabha, Derek O’ Brien. "We certainly want political parties to come under the RTI to the degree that is practicable," he said.
"The parties need to be transparent about their accounts and sources of funding and share these on multiple platforms, besides submitting them to the Election Commission," he said.
"The same financial transparency must be true for public and civil society organisations such as NGOs," he said. The union cabinet on August one gave its nod to amend the Right to Information Act to keep political parties out of the ambit of transparency law.
The move followed the Central Information Commission holding that six national parties- Congress, BJP, NCP, CPI-M, CPI and BSP were substantially funded indirectly by the central government and were required to appoint public information officers as they have the character of a public authority under the RTI Act.
Next: TMC seeks govt assurance on no further creation of new state

TMC seeks govt assurance on no further creation of new state
New Delhi: Terming the creation of Telangana as an "election gimmick", Trinamool Congress sought a categorical assurance from the government that no new state will be created further.
"We have pointed out to the Speaker that creating Telangana just before the polls is an election gimmick and it is creating trouble in the entire country," TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee told reporters here after the all-party meeting convened by Speaker Meira Kumar.
He said, "Unless the Home Minister comes out with a statement that no other state will be created (in future), agitations won't stop. In Assam, agitation has already started. Yesterday few government accommodations were burnt by some agitators. This issue has to be resolved first."
After the Centre announced its decision to form Telangana, the Gorkhaland issue has come back to the centrestage in West Bengal, threatening to assume an alarming situation. "Some are talking about the formation of Gorkhaland and we are not going to allow that," Banerjee said.
In the meeting, Trinamool Congress also raised the issue of price rise and judiciary functioning, he said. "We raised the issue of judiciary functioning and the way they are affecting legislative functioning," Banerjee said.
It is not for the Supreme Court to fix the date of elections, nor it can say that a convicted MP or MLA cannot contest elections. It needs a very serious discussion, he said.

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