Bhubaneswar: Slamming the BJD for supporting the Narendra Modi Government in passing the RTI Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha, the Odisha Soochana Adhikar Abhiyan (OSAA) on Tuesday announced a State-wide week-long mass people’s movement from August 1 demanding the withdrawal of the Bill.
OSAA works on to educate people on using RTI Act properly to get desired information and also works on to strengthen the Act since its inception in 2004.
During the proposed week-long movement, several programmes like road show, seminar, protest rally and signature campaign, will be organised and memorandums will be submitted to President Ram Nath Kovind with a request to not give his assent to the Bill.
“Now, with the passing of the amendments by Parliament, the Centre will now have the power to set the salaries and tenures of members of the State and Central Information Commissions, the final appellate bodies under the RTI Act. This move will compromise the autonomy of the Commissions and weaken the transparency law,” said OSAA State convenor Pradip Pradhan in a press conference here.
Alleging that BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik stood in support of the RTI Amendment Bill only to appease the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP to avoid CBI probe in mining scam and further probe in the chit fund scam, Pradhan urged people to join in the mass movement to put pressure on the Union Government to withdraw the Bill.
The Lok Sabha had passed the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on July 22.
In the wake of the Congress-led Opposition’s failure to prevent the amendments to the Right to Information Act in Parliament, some RTI activists hope to meet President Ram Nath Kovind in a last-ditch bid to persuade him against giving his assent to the Bill into law.