Bringing political parties under RTI Act
It refers to a public-spirited BJP leader who is also an advocate approaching the Supreme Court to put political parties under the RTI Act. However, already a petition of RTI-activists pleading to implement full-bench CIC-verdict of June 3, 2013, holding six national political parties under the RTI Act is already pending at the Apex Court. It is noteworthy that the law-making political parties have neither complied with CIC-verdict nor they have challenged it in any court. Even all efforts to amend the RTI Act to keep political parties out of RTI Act has not been fruitful.
Ruling BJP should become a path-breaker by supporting the petition filed by its own leader for bringing political parties under the RTI Act. Rather BJP and central government should approach the Supreme Court for an early hearing and decision on two petitions in this regard now pending at Supreme Court.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
Check use of unaccounted cash in polls
It refers to the media reports wherein it is analysed that maximum poll-expenditure in cash is done on holding rallies and road-shows. Otherwise, the ruling parties are always blamed for a large-scale misuse of public resources in holding rallies and road-shows for their candidates. There is otherwise a huge loss of man-hours and unnecessary disruption in public-life at places and surrounding areas where these political rallies and road-shows are held.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) should impose a total ban on holding political rallies and road-shows. Instead, the ECI can coordinate with the Press Information Bureau (PIB) to conduct live TV debates between spokespersons and key-leaders of rival political parties. The ECI and PIB can also coordinate live press-conferences of top political leaders.
Such proper utilisation of electronic media for poll-purposes is quite common in advanced countries which need to be followed by India to effectively check poll-related evils including misuse of unaccounted cash. It may be recalled that a similar ban on unproductive campaign-items like posters and banners has already been successful in India.
Manifestos far from the need
The recent spate of the release of manifestos ahead of the upcoming general elections is only seen as a move to appease the opposition parties. The manifestos presented witnesses no real issues being met to appease the end participants i.e. the voters. The manifestos remain a mirage only till the announcement of the next general election dates, as by the time a voter realises that the five-year period has gone away, it’s yet another round of promises which strongly remain rooted within the political corridors than touching the common man at the ground level.
At a time when India is facing severe drinking water crises and floodcyclone-related policy issues, which need immediate attention at the highest level, surprisingly finds no mention in the manifestos. Fulfilling the promise of clean drinking water to every house as a priority is yet a distant dream than building a dream kuccha house as promised by some parties.
Fighting climate change remains no longer a mere air dashing opportunity and fancy meeting of diplomatic conventions but a key point which needs to be highlighted in the manifestos and thus addresses the issue arising at the ground level itself. Providing public transport as an affordable mode of transport within urban areas is high the need of the hour, especially as many cities witness uncontrollable traffic mess. Finally, necessary steps to the ever-increasing risk of air pollution especially in cities like Delhi finds no mention in the manifestos as released by the parties.
A common man finds no connection with the promises as presented in the key manifestos. The political stakeholders should understand that the voters remain deep-rooted at the ground level and are required to address issues related to clean drinking water, finding solutions to traffic mess, air pollution, water pollution, and availing affordable public transport.
ST hitting a new low
BEST is in very bad shape as a heavyloss-making transport service and to give fillip failed to raise any hope so far. Adding to that, now ST is also suffering from heavy loss and it is under the Intensive Care Unit. As both the transport corporations are not able to recover losses. With ST loses touching Rs 4,000 crores the position is impregnable and there is no chance of recovery. The State government should take the lead and help out the ailing transport corporations by pumping money and privatise them with proper funding by the new buyer. Instead of just leaving to die a natural death, it is time to rejuvenate them in time and provide them a second lease of life.
Then Urmila should render public apology!
Urmila Matondkar has been in great form since she has been given candidature by Congress and it is observed that she is losing her mental balance while giving interviews on TV channels. In one TV show, Urmila exhibited her lack of sense by saying that Hindu Dharma was the most violent Dharma in the world which has put her in trouble. BJP leader Suresh Nakhua has lodged a complaint with police against her for making such statement and it seems that her audacity would create problems for her. Hindu Dharma is known to be the most tolerant religion in the world even today. It is the most ancient religion on the Earth which is not man-made. Moreover, its existence has remained limited only to India because of Hindus’ over tolerance attitude. Hindus form the majority population in India; still, people from other religions are living in harmony in Hindustan. Hindus have happily accepted secular governance. In this country, where Hindus are in majority, the Constitution has provided several facilities to the minorities through special laws, separate ministries, reservation, to name few among them. India, once known for her prosperity, was looted by invaders, who forcefully converted Hindus and sexually exploited Hindu women; even today, they are challenging internal security of this country through terrorist attacks. Urmila should tell us which religion is followed by these invaders. Urmila, accusing Hindu Dharma as violent, should submit proofs to justify her statement; else render a public apology to all the Hindus!
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)