24 November, 2020

Partying In The Light

It’s time political parties learnt to function behind glass walls

Tribhuvan Tiwari
Partying In The Light

Some people, however conversant with the law, will not read the law in its spirit. They even want to be above the law. Those who have been listening to Union information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari, a lawyer by training, will be inclined to agree. Commenting on the ruling by the Central Information Commission (CIC) that political parties are also subject to the Right to Information (RTI) Act, Tewari said, “This is a curious attempt to try and stretch the scope of the Act.” In short, he thinks the RTI law was never meant for political parties in the first place; the CIC was wrong to force-fit parties under its ambit. Tewari speaks for the Congress, but the other national parties named in the order—the BJP, BSP, CPI(M), CPI and JD(U)­—agree with him. They all contend they need not submit to the searchlight bec­ause they are neither partially nor fully funded by the government.

The free airtime political parties  get on All-India Radio and Doordarshan, they say, hardly matters—it’s too little, and given only around...



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