by Subhash Chandra Agrawal
Central government in its affidavit filed at Supreme Court has stated that it is not in favour of bringing political parties under RTI Act. It is unfortunate that central government has supported law-breaking political parties which defied full-bench CIC-verdict without even having courage to challenge it in appropriate courts. Attitude of political parties is an insult to an institution formed through legislation passed by the Parliament of which they themselves were the parties for passing such a wonderful legislation. Even legislation to amend RTI Act for the purpose was deferred despite Parliamentary Committee’s recommendations perhaps because the then Attorney General opined against such legislation.
Since central government has advocated political parties being not under RTI Act, it should immediately stop all direct or indirect government-funding. Further land-allotment at subsidized cost to political parties must not be there. Buildings built by political parties on subsidized land provided by governments may be taken over by governments in case of division in the party. Divisions-after divisions in Congress-party left its one time headquarters at 7 Jantar-Mantar Road (New Delhi) in very bad condition. No further government-accommodations may be allotted to any political party. Existing ones may be got vacated say within three years.
Union government may abolish all Income Tax exemptions on contribution made to and received by political parties. Extra revenue so generated for national-development/public-welfare-schemes is much more important than exemptions so enjoyed by political parties and to those contributing to them. Also free voters’ list, free Doordarshan & All India Radio timings and all other government-provided free facilities to political parties should be instantly abolished.
Political parties may be made to submit their complete fiscal details including incoming and outgoing funds to Election Commission for making these public through website. Election Commission should de-recognize all about 1800 non-serious political parties which might not have contested any election in last say three years.