Goa RTI Forum has expressed disappointment over the official stand taken by the ruling party during the press conference addressed by its President Vinay Tendulkar on November 21, as regards the hunger strike being observed by RTI Activist Rajan Ghate at Azad Maidan. The forum has appealed to the Government to reconsider its stand.
In a letter written by Goa RTI Forum secretary Sandeep Heble, to CM Parrikar, MPs and other government officials said that- “In a democracy, Government must be for, of and by the people and it must be warm, embracing and sympathetic towards its citizens at all times. The government may or may not agree with views or some of the actions of its citizens but it should respect constitutional rights and must take positive suggestions as well as criticism in its stride.”
The letter further reads that – “Rajan Ghate had observed a hunger strike last time to appoint RTI Commissioners in Goa, it was Mr. Manohar Parrikar himself who met Rajan and assured him to take necessary action in the matter. Mr. Parrikar, at that time, we must recall, called himself the “biggest supporter of RTI. Mr. Ghate has been a prominent figure in the state who has fought for preservation of Goa’s land. In the past, he has exposed the violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) by foreigners in buying lands and following his agitation, the Centre had issued notices to 400 properties in Goa purchased by foreigners.”
“In view of this, Goa RTI Forum passionately appeals to the Government and the ruling party to reconsider its present stand vis-à-vis Ghate whose hunger strike enters its 7th day today. It must take a sympathetic view towards the activist and National Award RTI winner. As his health keeps deteriorating day by day, some engagements and talks with the activist to get him to end his hunger strike and get back to good health will be the right way ahead,” the letter concluded.