Farmers’ group welcomes order bringing political parties under RTI

New Delhi, June 5 (IANS) The Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) farmers’ group has welcomed the Central Information Commission (CIC) order bringing political parties under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

“We stand firm in demanding that all public bodies working for public causes using public funds adhere to complete transparency and accountability,” said the MKSS in a statement.

“We are confident that this will provide an opportunity to ensure transparency of functioning of parties while protecting their right to political freedom of choice and association,” it added.

The MKSS further said that there were issues, other than financial irregularities which required deliberation by political parties but it emphasized that it should not be used as an excuse to amend the RTI and weaken it.

Political parties like the Congress and the CPI-M have opposed the CIC order while the Trinamool Congress has given the thumbs up to it. The Bharatiya Janata Party has sought the Election Commission’s view.

The CIC, on two applications filed by the Association for Democratic Reforms and Right to Information (RTI) activist Subhash Chand Agrawal, ruled Monday that political parties were public authorities as they performed public functions and received government funding.

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