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RTI Bill set to clear Rajya Sabha hurdle as several non-NDA parties agree to back Modi government

New Delhi , News Nation Bureau | Updated : 25 July 2019, 05:11 PM
The Opposition is demanding the RTI (Amendment) Bill be sent to standing committee.
The Opposition is demanding the RTI (Amendment) Bill be sent to standing committee.

The RTI (Amendment) Bill, which was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday, is likely to clear Rajya Sabha hurdle despite Opposition's objections as the Narendra Modi government has reportedly secured enough numbers. According to reports, non-NDA parties such as the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the YSR Congress have agreed to support the RTI (Amendment) Bill. "We will question the government about our concerns and if we get a satisfactory response, we will think about it," a BJD leader was quoted as sayign by NDTV.

As per the reports, BJP president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah has also convinced Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao to get the support of his party the TRS MPs. Initially, the TRS had been opposing the bill but after Amit Shah's reported telephonic conversation with KCR, the party will now support the bill.

Not just the BJD and the TRS, but Jagan Mohan Reddy's YSR Congress and some MPs of Mehbooba Mufti's PDP are also likely to vote in favour of the bill. "We will support the RTI (Amendment) Bill... It is not correct to demand that all bills be sent to the Standing Committee or Select Committee," a YSR Congress leader said.

Narendra Modi government will need 118 votes to pass the bill and if the BJD, PDP, TRS and the YSR Congress back the Amendment, the government will have 129 votes in thier favour, which is more than enough.

The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019, takes away the stature of information commissioners from equivalent of election commissioners, with their salaries and service conditions to be specified by the government.
The main Opposition Congress said that it was not an amendment bill but elimination of the RTI Act and demanded that the bill be sent to a Select Committee for further scrutiny.

First Published: Thursday, July 25, 2019 04:38 PM

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