Chairman of Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR)
Are political parties frightened of RTI?
Most political parties have ganged up against bringing political parties under the Right to Information (RTI) ambit. Prof. Trilochan Sastry, Chairman of Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), which has been fighting for transparency in our political system joins us for a live web chat at 5-30 PM.
- I am a fan of ADR. I am sure you people are hated by politicians. Is it worth doing?Asked by: Mallika, Bangalore
- Thanks. We do this for people like you who care about the country and its people. Some people do not like us. But this is definitely worth doing. "We the people" have to save ourselves - we cant leave it to the Government and political parties alone to do that. But we are not against politicians or political parties- we want better ones that's all. No country can run without them.
- How many countries in the World have RTI for political parties? Asked by: Diana, New Delhi
- Whether there is an RTI Act in other countries or not, there are at least 40 countries in Europe, American Continent and Asia that allow full access to the public to examine all funding, receipts, donations etc of political parties. See for instance http://www.firstpost.com/politics/while-india-wont-political-parties-in-...
- Do ARD reports really matter? Politicians don't care. Asked by: Raksha, Bombay
- The country and the people matter. ADR or any other organization does not matter that much. The politicians do care as the current challenges to the CIC and Supreme Court rulings by the politicians is largely based on the information put out by ADR.
- Why only political parties? What about god men and women? Asked by: Amit Gupta, Indore
- I assume you mean why not have RTI for God men and women. ADR does not have any expertise on this subject, we work only on the electoral and political system (on which also we don't claim to have full expertise, but we do have experience).
- Can we volunteer for ADR? Want to help during Delhi polls. Asked by: Ritika Kapoor, Delhi
- Sure you can. Please contact our Delhi office. You can also work independently by taking our data and spreading it around. Our campaign this time is "Mera Vote, Mera Desh". We ask voters to vote for clean candidates and not to sell their vote.
- Please justify why political parties should reveal their political strategies which is what will happen by this unbridled activism. (Financials etc are already covered and are in the public domain under the ambit of the CEC.) Asked by: Shenoy
- Our analysis based on Political Party Income Tax returns shows that only 10% at most of funding sources is known. the rest is largely unknown and is hidden under a clause saying donations under Rs.20,000 need not be declared. India is one of the very few countries which allows this hiding. On your specific question, there are already enough exemption clauses in the present RTI to prevent 'unbridled' activism. Political parties can legitimately deny political strategies under the current RTI.
- Don't think the RTI will be accepted by politicians. What next? Asked by: K B Gowda, Bangalore
- ADR and several other organizations will challenge any adverse Amendment in Court. An earlier challenge by ADR on a similar Amendment to the Representation of People Act in 2002 was successful and the Supreme Court had st4ruck the amendment down as unconstitutional. The public is also responding and sending emails, tweets and facebook posts against it directly to the MPs.
- Which is the least corrupt and which is the most corrupt political party in India? Based on ADR reports. Asked by: Sourav Ganguly, Calcutta
- Based on Election Commission data on persons with serious criminal charges fielded (candidates) by political parties, and analyzed by ADR, the party with highest percent is RJD and Shiv Sena with 21% each, and the least is Asom Gona PArishad (AGP) with 4%. Based on elected (winners) MPS and MLAs the highest is Shiv Sena with 31% and lowest is AGP with 3%