District Rath Prabhari scheme- Calling for a public disclosure of correspondence between Cabinet Secretariat and the ECI

Shri Rajiv Gauba

Union Cabinet Secretary

Dear Shri Gauba,

Please refer to my letter of October 27, 2023, on the government engaging senior officers as “District Rath Prabharis” under their purview to “showcase/celebrate achievements of the NDA government during the last nine years through ‘Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra’ from 20th November 2023 to 25th January 2024″ (


Apparently, there was correspondence between your office and the Election Commission of India (ECI) on the subject that resulted in the government finally agreeing to suspend the Rath Prabhari campaign in the poll-bound States.

In the normal course, both your office and the ECI ought to have placed the said correspondence suo moto in the public domain, in compliance with the requirement under Section 4 of the RTI Act, as it was a public outcry that prompted you both to take such a decision. Neither your office nor the ECI has unfortunately complied with that statutory requirement.

As a concerned citizen, I am forced to seek copies of the relevant correspondence by filing an application under Section 6 of the RTI Act, a copy of which is attached here.

Even at this belated stage, I suggest that you make a public disclosure of the said correspondence. Even otherwise, I hope that your office responds to my RTI application with a sense of urgency and public-spiritedness and provides me with the relevant information within the next couple of days, as otherwise, it would lead to the inevitable inference that, for some questionable reason, the government is reluctant to take the public into confidence.


Yours sincerely,

E A S Sarma

Former Secretary to the Government of India


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