Activists threaten to boycott PM's address at annual RTI convention

New Delhi: Leading RTI activists including Aruna Roy will boycott the opening of the annual Central Information Commission (CIC) convention, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the transparency law, to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.

Narendra Modi will be delivering the opening address at the convention PIC/PTI
Narendra Modi will be delivering the opening address at the convention Pic/PTI

The activists including Lokesh Batra, Venkatesh Nayak, Anjali Bhardwaj and Nikhil Dey, who were invited for the convention, announced their boycott plans after the authorities restricted the invitations to some activists citing security reasons. In an unusual action, the CIC has expressed inability to invite a larger number of activists and even its own staff.

RTI activist Aruna Roy
RTI activist Aruna Roy

The two-day convention which is being organised on the theme of “RTI: Outlook for the future, Trust through Transparency” will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.

‘Few received invites’
Anjali Bhardwaj, an RTI activist said, “People who have an important role to play in using and protecting RTI are being left out of the process. The invites have gone out to a few people and the most important people have been left out.”

Social activist Aruna Roy, who is a signatory to the resolution, alleged that this is happening under the “control” and not the “influence” of the government. “It is an indication of government wanting to take over the decision-making process to the extent that it can.

In the history of this government in one and half years, consultation has stopped, anytime access to authority or free governance is so restricted,” she said during a press conference.

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