Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday accused the Modi government of systematically derailing the RTI Act and asserted his partys commitment towards resisting governments further attempts to dilute the law.
“In the UPA years, the RTI was a powerful instrument in the hands of citizens, forcing the government to be transparent in its decision-making,” Gandhi said on Facebook on the 13th anniversary of The Right to Information Act.
“Unfortunately, since 2014, the RTI has been systematically derailed by the BJP government. Lakhs of RTI queries remain unanswered.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking to dilute the RTI Act. The Congress party will resist any attempt to dilute the Act, and lends its support to all those organisations and individuals who are standing shoulder to shoulder in protest,” added Gandhi.
The Modi government has proposed to amend the RTI Act seeking to remove statutory safeguards ensuring the independence of information commissioners at the Centre and in the states.
Pending in Parliament, the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2018 empowers the Central government to decide the tenure, salaries, allowances and other terms of service of information commissioners at the Centre and states.
Currently, their salaries and tenures are statutorily protected and at par with those of the Chief Election Commissioner and election commissioners.
RTI activists and opposition parties have been expressing strong reservation against the proposed amendments.