Opposition won’t relent on RTI Amendment Bill

As opposition parties up the ante on transparency law, government refrains from tabling the Bill in Rajya Sabha

Published: 25th July 2019 10:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th July 2019 10:01 AM   |  A+A-

A delegation of Trinamool MPs met PM Modi and appealed to him to bring a constitutional amendment to change the name of West Bengal to ‘Bangla’. | PTI

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Following demands from the Opposition for further scrutiny of the RTI (Amendment) Bill, 2019 by a select committee, the Centre did not introduce the Bill in the Rajya Sabha despite it being listed for business on Wednesday. The Opposition raised the matter during the afternoon session with the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad saying that there is an effort to dilute the authority of states through this Bill. The government replied saying that it would not be brought up today. 

According to sources, the Opposition, which has already moved a motion on the Bill, is trying to get more people on board and even chief ministers from Congress ruled states are being asked to put in writing their views. Even the Biju Janata Dal is  on board. 

“We in the Rajya Sabha represent states and don’t want the authority of states to be diluted under a federal system of governance. The changes being made to the Bill will dilute the authority of states as the Bill deals with both the national and state commissions,” Azad said, insisting that the opposition will continue with its demand to refer the Bill to a select committee.  

During a meeting attended by leaders from all Opposition parties in Azad’s office, it was decided to demand that the select committee review seven Bills — the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights of Marriage) Bill, 2019; the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the Code Wages Bill, 2019; the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code Bill; the Inter-State River Water Disputes Amendment Bill; the Unlawful Activities Prevention Amendment Bill; and the DNA Technologies (Uses and Application) Regulation Bill. Congress Parliamentary Party leader Sonia Gandhi also held a separate meeting in her office in Parliament to discuss the issue. 

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