Friday, February 17, 2017

Tussle over RTI between Kerala CPM, CPI worsens

New Indian Express: Thiruvanatpuram: Friday, February 17, 2017.
The two Communist parties in Kerala’s Left Government are once again engaged in an open confrontation over the Right to Information Act. The fight between the CPM and the CPI reached a tipping point on Thursday with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan openly criticising attempts to create a smokescreen over the issue.
In what could be termed a reply to CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran, who had criticised the government’s reluctance to release Cabinet information under RTI Act, Pinarayi asked for whom such a smokescreen was created. In an apparent dig at the CPI, Pinarayi said his refusal to retort does not imply he does not know how to.
Alleging vested interests were behind those creating controversies, Pinarayi said: “I chose not to retort to avoid unnecessary controversies. It doesn’t imply I have lost the ability to do so. Those who criticise better realise this.”
Reacting to the constant criticisms from the CPI, Pinarayi said the campaign which said the government is against the RTI Act is not true. There’s an attempt to create such an impression. Kerala is the only state to post-Cabinet decisions on the website. Still, some people are creating a smokescreen. It’s not clear for whom such an attempt is being made, he said.
The Pinarayi jibe aimed at Kanam comes at a time when the CPI has been openly supporting demands to provide Cabinet decisions under the RTI Act. Though the Left Government had earlier supported the move, the Chief Minister later made it clear all information cannot be provided under the Act.