Sunday, October 31, 2010

Villagers use RTI to take on candidates

Documents availed through Right to Information (RTI) Act are giving sleepless nights to former pradhans contesting the panchayat elections again. Armed with these papers — mostly related to utilisation of panchayat funds — the villagers are questioning candidates who come seeking votes. The authenticity of the information being guaranteed, the candidates have no chance to argue.In village Hamirpura in Jalaun, a candidate contesting for the the gram pradhan's seat for the second time, faced a volley of questions at a public meeting. "I was shocked when villagers asked me why a particular road was constructed twice and why six handpumps in the village featured both in the list of re-bored and newly installed,within three months," he said. "When I asked them how can they allege these anomalies,I was shown copy of documents which they had procured through RTI and I couldn't say anything. I have stopped holding any public meetings and now prefer going door to door."

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