Kolkata: Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee supported the Central Information Commission (CIC) order to bring all National political parties under the ambit of the Right to Information Act (RTI).

Speaking to reporters, Banerjee said, “Political parties should and must function in a transparent manner, or how can people expect them to run a government honestly. The people of the country should have the right to know about the functioning of political parties and their source of funds that they receive and how the money is spent. There should be transparency only then people will appreciate political parties and politicians. This is a move in the right direction.”

Criticising her arch rival Communist party of India-marxist (CPI-M), Banerjee said, “Some political parties had been claiming for decades that they are clean and do no accept any funds from business houses. Why are they running away now from coming under the RTI act. Once TMC emerges as a national party we shall submit all information required under this Act, whether we are asked for it or not.” Earlier, CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat had opposed the CIC’s move to bring the political parties under the act.

Political parties argue that since they are not funded by the exchequer, they should not be under the RTI act. “Let TMC first survive in Bengal first, then we can discuss about its national ambitions. She has been trying for the last two years by fielding candidates in other states, but without much response from the voters. If at all TMC becomes a national party we will see if she sticks to her commitment then,” said a CPI-M politburo member.

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