Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Lok Satta welcomes bringing political parties under RTI

The Lok Satta Party today welcomed in principle the verdict of the Central Information Commission (CIC) bringing political parties under the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The verdict may not be palatable to those who have converted political parties, which should strive for social good, into private estates. It will, however, make parties transparent and accountable and share details of their income and expenditure with people.

Lok Satta Party Vice President D. V. V. S. Varma said in a media statement that the people have a right to know about the functioning of parties which seek their votes.

Mr. Varma recalled that the Lok Satta has been in the forefront in seeking a law to regulate the functioning of political parties. Political parties should be transparent in raising and spending funds, choose office-bearers through democratic elections, and allocate party tickets by sticking to certain standards. The Lok Satta Party is the first in the country to place its audited income and expenditure statements on its website, he said

Mr. Varma said that the CIC recommendation is a small but significant step in electoral reforms. But to eradicate the influence of black money and the culture of vote buying, the present first-past-the-post system should be replaced by a proportional system of representation with adequate safeguards in Indian conditions.

Mr. Varma wanted political parties not to circumvent the CIC verdict under some pretext or the other but respond favorably by sharing information as stipulated by it.

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