Less than a month after Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about “transparency” in the government being a prerequisite for people to have “trust” in the system, his office has rejected an RTI request from an activist.
An Ahmedabad based activist had contacted the PMO through an RTI request asking for the cost PMO incurs on ‘internet usage’ every month.
The PMO replied saying that the ‘information cannot be provided.’
The activist told www.jantakareporter.com that the reason behind him seeking information on the cost of monthly internet usage was to ‘test’ if ‘Mr Modi indeed walked the talk.’
Inaugurating a two-day national convention to mark the completion of 10 years of the transparency law on 16 October, Modi had called the RTI “an instrument for bringing good governance”.
He had 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. We will emphasise this.”
The RTI activist said he did not know if the PMO turning down his request was symptomatic of Modi losing his grip over his own staff or ‘it’s simply a case of Mr Modi not practicing what he preaches.’
He said, “I feel very bad about this RTI Reply….I am also planning to file an appeal for this. This is very unexpected reply from the PMO. It’s also a question of why the PMO is being so secretive over a matter as small as expense on monthly internet usage. If it used personal earnings, then they have all the right to reject but the PMO usse tax payers’ money. What is PMO trying to hide? I am 100 % sure that dal mein kuch kala hai.”
The activist, who requested anonymity, had also filed an RTI request unsuccessfully on PM Modi’s educational qualification in September this year.