Political parties receive government land for construction of offices, memorials and other research and developmental establishments formed in the name of their past leaders. Once they receive government land anywhere in India for such purposes, they are liable to disclose a few of their activities, since the donation of land was made from public exchequer. Contributions to political parties in India made by industrialists, businessmen and government servants are exempt from Income Tax Assessment and for this same reason, they have to bear the obligation for disclosing a few others of their activities to government and to the public. We know, donating government land to political parties for construction of buildings is most often being done by state and central ministers while those parties are in power and that it has no justification, but it is regularly being done. A considerable portion of government land in all Indian states are thus in the illegal custody of political parties, illegal here meaning against the wish of people. Exempting Income Tax for donations to political parties also has no justification and logic but it also is done, legalized by party members in government while they are in power. State and central government ministers regularly attend party functions in full state regalia, expending heavily from state treasury and almost all of them use their influence to bring huge amounts as donations to their parties. Even while enjoying all these concessions and privileges shamelessly, these parties taking a stand of refusing to disclose a few of their activities to the public, especially to those who seek information under the Right to Information Act of India is, in plain words, challenging people. If they have secrets to keep, don’t go for people’s and government’s concessions and remain fresh, clean and inviolate. Perhaps they may unite in Parliament to bring a new bill to exclude them all from the purview of the Right to Information Act, which again will be challenging the people of India.
News: Central Information Commission asked to act against national parties for non-compliance of RTI order. 17 February 2014.