Political Pickle

KCR’s support to RTI Act amendments surprises many

If Delhi-based sources are to be believed, it took a phone call from Amit Shah to K Chandrasekhar Rao for the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) to change its mind on the amendments to the RTI Act. Soon instructions went to the seven Rajya Sabha MPs that they were to support the government on the Act.

The U-turn was surprising because till the call came, TRS Rajya Sabha MP Kesava Rao was in favour of the Bill being sent to a select committee. He had come prepared to speak in the Upper House, picking holes in the government’s argument. A call from Hyderabad and Kesava Rao’s note was consigned to the dustbin and the TRS leader found nothing wrong in what the treasury benches proposed. 

No one is privy to what transpired between Shah and KCR but the volte face has surprised many. Especially given that the BJP, under Shah’s personal guidance, is gearing up to challenge the TRS politically on the Telangana turf. 

That this comes just days after Governor ESL Narasimhan, who enjoys very cordial relations with the chief minister, chose to recommend changes in the Municipalities Act, is not lost on anyone. Observers point out that Narasimhan could have done so quietly, conveying to the CM his concerns in private. That he chose to send it back to the Cabinet seeking the changes, is being interpreted as a pointer of things to come. 

Along with the TRS, the BJD and the YSRCP also sailed along with the BJP, only reinforcing the narrative the opposition in each of the three states has been saying. That all the three ruling parties have a tacit understanding with the BJP. 

Former Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu has embarrassed the three CMs by writing an open letter, questioning their decision to support the Bill.

“What is it that you have achieved by this support to this unconstitutional, anti-democratic and anti-federal Bill? Was there any fear or apprehension you are suffering from?” Acharyulu asked in his letter.

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