New Delhi, Oct 14: Accusing the government of being “scared” of the RTI Act, BJP today slammed the Prime Minister's statement favoring a “critical look” at the transparency law and warned that any attempt to dilute the act would be opposed across the country.
“Is the government scared now of the RTI Act? The Government wants to turn its back towards the Act. The government, which has already lost its credibility, fears that it would be nowhere if this Act survives for a long time,” said BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
The BJP also charged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of giving indications on dilution of the RTI Act and warned the government that any such attempt would be opposed across the country.
“By stating that the RTI Act is a wastage and time and expenses, the Prime Minister is giving a big indication to dilsute the Act. We never expected such a statement from the PM,” said Rudy.
He claimed the Prime Minister was siding with the rhetoric of such organisations which are seeking exemption from the transparency law.
“The BJP feels that the tenor of the Prime Minister's speech at the 6th conference of Information Commissioners is an attempt or an indication to rake up a debate in this country to dilute the provisions of the RTI, said Rudy.
Terming the PM's statement as “very objectionable” and which no other PM has ever said, the BJP said, “This is a matter of concern, as he (the PM) is talking in complete contradiction to the very tenet of the RTI Act.”
“The intent of the government, deserves an explanation from the PM,” said Rudy.
The BJP leader also questioned, “Why the Prime Minister made a subtle and covert attempt to raise a debate on the RTI? Why does he want a debate on RTI?”
He further questioned, “Is the Prime Minister also attempting to give teeth to the arguments of those organisations which are attempting to seclude themselves and get an exemption from the RTI Act?”
The BJP leader also sought an explanation from the Prime Minister on the observations made by the Supreme Court in the 2G Spectrum case, on why the head of government did not act to avoid the loss of 1.76 lakh crore in the scam.
“Though I would not like to comment on what the Supreme Court's has said, but a big question mark is there when the Supreme Court says that the head of the government were aware of this since November 2007 and why no steps were taken to prevent the scam,” said the BJP leader.
“Why the government allowed it to happen and did not take steps to stop this? The BJP and the people of the whole nation want to know about this from the Prime Minister.” Earlier today, the Prime Minister said that the Right to Information should not adversly affect the deliberative processes in the Government.
“We must take a critical look at it. There are concerns that need to be discussed and addressed,” he stressed.