Political parties cannot evade public scrutiny as they are essentially public bodies
At a seminar organised by the department of communication of Osmania University at Hyderabad, Madabhushi Sridhar, the Information Commissioner at Central Information Commission (CIC) said that the political parties cannot means evade public scrutiny as they are essentially public bodies. He said “The Congress, BJP, CPI, NCP, CPM and BSP - whom we have asked to appoint public information officers - have replied in unison that they need not divulge information to the public as they are not public bodies. If a political party is not a public body, then is it a private, family-run organisation? How absurd is this?
While talking of transparency and reforms in the electoral process, he made certain observations and made certain suggestions.
- The contesting candidates should be asked to disclose about the number of parties they have switched in a decade.
- An elected representative should be brought under RTI by terming all elected representatives as a public authority.
- With 1,147 registered political parties, most of which do not contest elections, the logic of not letting the Election Commission of India to deregister and derecognise political parties under the Representation of People Act 1951was questioned.