Even as the centre is all set to introduce bill to amend the Right To Information (RTI) act, activists including former Central Information Commissioner (CIC) have taken upon themselves to call opposition MPs, urging them to oppose the government move. Till now, around 30 BJP MPs have orally extended their support to the activists.
Interestingly, the move to call MPs was started by an Indian who is presently in United States. “I received an e-mail from Suresh Ediga, in which he mentioned that he is calling up MPs and trying to persuade them against voting for amendment to the RTI act. He wrote that MPs were talking with him,” said Shailesh Gandhi, former CIC while speaking with The Hindu.
Following the example, Mr. Gandhi and few other RTI activists have been trying to get in touch with MPs of different parties from opposition from last few days and are trying to pursue them to vote against government bill. According to him around 30 MPs from BJP said that they in-principal oppose the amendment bill, but their stand will be decided only by the party. Despite repeated attempts, top BJP leaders like Lalkrishna Advani and Sushma Swaraj were not available to speak with the activists.
“The way in which central government is planning to amend the act is most undemocratic mode of functioning. There has been no debate, inside or outside the parliament. Nobody even knows the exact wordings of the amendment. We feel that it should be opposed,” said Mr. Gandhi.
As per the schedule, the bill is likely to be presented in parliament on Monday. Aam Adami Party (AAP) along with several NGOs and RTI activists will be protesting against the amendment bill across all railway stations in Mumbai. Similar protests will be carried out across the country, said Mr. Gandhi.