Parliament should not be turned into Association of Political Parties

SUBHASH CHANDRA AGRAWAL
(Guinness Record Holder & RTI Activist)

Unusual unanimity amongst political parties emerged out against several reformative measures required in larger public interest because of various verdicts of Supreme Court and Central Information Commission has virtually turned Parliament like some association of political parties.

Political parties are whole-heartedly opposing themselves coming under purview of RTI Act, disqualification of jailed persons from contesting elections and Election Commission’s move to check announcing freebies in poll-manifestoes as per Supreme Court directions.

Political parties do not support such reforms as this likely to adversely affect using politics as some profession or business shops. Democratic form of governance has now virtually been redefined as a system for the politicians, by the politicians and of the politicians rather than visualised by our constitution-makers to be for the people, by the people and of the people.

While opposing themselves coming under purview of RTI Act, these political parties said they were accountable to Election Commission and were faithfully following directives of Election Commission. But this is not true. Neither Union government nor political parties have cared to implement poll-reforms being suggested by Election Commission now for several decades. Even reformative steps directed by Election Commission like compulsory declaration of wealth and criminal records by candidates were implemented only after Supreme Court directives.

Political parties are encouraged to do all such wrong-doings only because of absence of option of ‘Non-to-Vote’ being put on Electronic Voting Machines as also recommended by Election Commission. People have no choice to vote against such political unity. However if RTI amendment bill to keep political parties out of purview of RTI Act is put for secret voting in Parliament, perhaps political parties may lose the battle because even normal Parliamentarians are likely to oppose the bill because of their desire for internal democracy in their own parties which can be possible only by putting political parties under RTI Act. Our Parliamentarians cannot practically voice against their political bosses on this aspect.

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