Miffed activists boycott PM’s speech at RTI convention

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Friday inaugurate and address the 10th annual convention of the Central Information Commission (CIC) here.

However, even before its start the two-day convention has come under criticism from RTI activists as a large number of them have not been invited due to security arrangements for the event.

In fact, several RTI activists including Aruna Roy have decided to boycott the inauguration of the annual CIC convention, which is celebrating 10th anniversary of the transparency law.

Other activists who will skip PM’s inaugural speech include Lokesh Batra, Venkatesh Nayak, Anjali Bhardwaj and Nikhil Dey.

These activists were invited for the convention but they have decided to boycott the inauguration after the authorities restricted the invitations to some activists citing security reasons.

In an unusual action, the CIC had expressed its inability to invite a larger number of activists and even its own staff.

The annual convention of the CIC is congregation of RTI activists who discuss issues related to implementation of the transparency law across the country through no-so-formal sessions where they are able to question and counter-question the experts and commissioners.

During all but one past conventions, Prime Minister or President have inaugurated the function but activists were never barred from participating in it, activists alleged.

The CIC has invited only seven RTI activists for the function to be held starting today.

The two-day convention is being organised on the theme of “RTI: Outlook for the future – Trust through Transparency”.