The Asian Age
New Delhi

Rejecting the CIC order bringing six political parties under the purview of the Right to Information Act, Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi suggested the move would encroach upon the right to privacy of political organisations which don’t receive any grants from the government and are voluntary. Underlining that political parties are the mainstay of democracy, which “cannot and should not be weakened”, he cautioned that such decisions would have long-lasting implications.
The CPI(M) felt opponents of a political party can utilise the RTI as an instrument to destabilise a party. “Given the serious implications of this order of the CIC for the political party system and parliamentary democracy, the matter should be discussed by the government with all political parties so that suitable steps can be taken to preserve the integrity and role of political parties in a democratic political system,” it said.
It termed as “untrue” the CIC observation that “six national parties are substantially financed by the Central government and therefore they are held to be public authorities under the act”.
It said “the bulk of the funding and finances for the parties do not come from the government or any state institution. In fact, the CPI(M) does not even accept funds from corporates, which is legally permissible.”
JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav wondered how it was possible for political parties to divulge information about inner matters. “It is not practical to share the resolutions of the parties made in executive committee meetings, nor to share the process of selection of candidates for party organisations,” he said.
“I fail to understand the logic behind the CIC order. There is already a constitutional body — the Election Commission — to which every political party is answerable and is bound to function under its directives. For any small or big deficiency in the conduct of a political party, that political party receives immediate notice from the EC,” he said.

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