Modi govt has betrayed people: Anna Hazare on RTI Act changes

PUNE, Jul 23: A day after the Lok Sabha passed amendments to the Right to Information (RTI) Act, social activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday accused the union government of betraying Indian citizens through the move.
On Monday, the Lok Sabha amended the RTI Act, allowing the Centre to prescribe the term of office, salaries, allowances and other terms and conditions.
It also changes the status of the information commissioners, who were on a par with election commissioners as per the original RTI Act.
“It is expected that while drafting a legislation the government takes the opinion of citizens. If the draft and the act are both made only by the government, then it is not a democracy but a dictatorship,” Hazare said.
“India got the RTI Act in 2005, but with this amendment in the RTI Act, the government is betraying the people of this country,” he said.
Hazare, 82, said his health is not in a good condition but if people of the country take to the streets to safeguard the sanctity of the RTI Act, he would be ready to join them.
Hazare, whose movement prompted the then Maharashtra government to enact a revised Maharashtra Right to Information Act, which was considered as the base document for the Right to Information Act, 2005, was speaking to reporters at his village, Ralegan Siddhi, in Ahmednagar district.
Hazare said he does not know whether the government will listen to him or not but he will still write a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to rescind the changes in the RTI Act.
After 13 years, the government is trying to amend the act, he said. Such acts are made with people’s consultation and so changes, if any, should also be made in consultation with people of the country, he said.
The Modi government is doing “good work” but there was no need to amend the zct, Hazare said. (PTI)