Urging that the Right to Information pleas be processed in a timely and transparent manner, PM Narendra Modi said it should not be limited to the right to know, but it should empower citizens to question those in power.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the 10th convocation of Central Information Commission, Modi said the process of accessing information should be transparent, timely and trouble-free. “Delayed information does not help solve the problem, but increases it. Timely information can halt a wrong decision,” he said.
Modi said the foundation of democracy is that every citizen has the right to question the government. “It is correct that in the Right to Information, even the most common person has the right to know. But it should not be limited to that. He should have the right to question those in power and this is the foundation of democracy,” Modi said. He stressed on “proactively” bringing transparency in the working of the government saying the faster “we move towards transparency, the stronger will be the faith of people in democracy”. “The awareness of people gives strength to the government. An aware society becomes an asset to the nation,” he said.
Highlighting the Digital India programme, he said the scheme is complementary to the spirit of the RTI as “the more things become online, the more the transparency”. He stressed the RTI should be used to improve governance. “If a question is asked by a citizen, there must be some issue in the government for which the need for the question arose. A small RTI question can force you to change policy,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Congress took a dig at Modi’s claim of transparency, saying the PMO denied information on his wife Jashodaben’s query on her security cover under the RTI Act. The Congress also questioned if “imminent defeat” of the BJP in poll-bound Bihar forced him to cancel rallies and participate in the event.