Rahul in favour of 'partially' bringing parties under RTI
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Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is learnt to be in favour of "partially" bringing political parties under the ambit of the Right to Information Act, even though the ruling party has categorically rejected the Central Information Commission (CIC)'s order to this effect, terming it as "adventurist". Rahul is said to be of the view that a political party's "financial details" should be made available to people through the RTI, while those relating to its internal functioning like the ticket distribution process, Congress Working Committee decisions and appointments, among others, could be kept out of its purview.
It is yet another instance in which the ruling party and the UPA government do not seem to be in sync with Rahul, who recently forced the Manmohan Singh government to withdraw the controversial ordinance on convicted MPs and MLAs calling. Sources said that while the government was keen to push the RTI (Amendment) Bill through in the last session of Parliament to nullify the CIC's order, it was Gandhi who had forced the government to refer it to the Parliamentary Standing Committee.
"Rahul Gandhi had spoken to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath and (Minister of State for Personnel and Prime Minister's Office) V Narayanasamy asking them not to hurry through the proposed Bill and rather refer it to the Standing Committee for wider consultations. As in the case of the ordinance, he believes that any attempt to insulate political parties from public scrutiny would further erode people's faith in the system," a senior Congress functionary said.
On Saturday, Union Minister Shashi Tharoor also said in his "personal view", political parties should be brought under the RTI ambit.