Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
HYDERABAD: Welcoming the stay given by the High Court on political parties’ road shows, the Lok Satta Party today pointed out that roads were meant for travel by people and not for demonstration of leaders’ strength.
The party has decided to file an affidavit in the High Court supporting the ban on road shows.
“Notwithstanding minor inconvenience to political parties in campaigning, the stay is welcome in the larger public interest. Political parties should make use of the Internet-age communication facilities to reach people,’’ LSP spokesmen Katari Srinivas Rao and B Krishna Reddy said in a press release here.
They said that road shows not only wasted people’s precious time and resources but also led to fatal accidents.
There had been many instances of people in medical emergencies losing life and caught up in traffic jams caused by politicians’ road shows.
The LSP pointed out that the Tamil Nadu Government had banned even roadside hoardings of movie stars as they distracted drivers’ attention.
How awful peoples’ plight could only be imagined when star-turned politicians hit the road, it said.
The LSP also welcomed the Election Commission’s decision to make post offices in villages as voter registration centres. The decision was a victory for the LSP which had been fighting for the reform for than a decade, the two leaders claimed.
HYDERABAD: The Lok Satta Party (LSP) has demanded that the Central Government should constitute a federal agency to deal with terrorism across the country by integrating the services of India’s internal and external intelligence agencies.
In a press release here today, Lok Satta Party (LSP) president Jayaprakash Narayan made five suggestions to the Government and all the political parties for preventing terrorist activities in the country. He made these suggestions in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
According to him, all politicians should realise that extraordinary situations warrant extraordinary measures. They should support a vigorous drive against all forms of terrorism and its perpetrators, without dragging religion into the picture. He also stated that all the political parties should facilitate the issuance of national identity cards to all Indians.
The LSP president said the Government should provide secular and skill-oriented education to every child born in the country.
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today appealed to all political parties to refrain from indulging in blame game for the terrorist attack on Mumbai but focus on what should and could be done straightway to preserve India as a nation. "If India ceases to be a union of States as enshrined in Article one of the Constitution because of terrorism, we won't be left with any Constitution or fundamental rights."
In a media statement, Dr. JP pointed out that India is next only to Iraq in experiencing the largest number of terrorist strikes in the last three years. And nowhere in the world have so many people fallen victim to terrorism as in India in the last 25 years."
"Contemporary history, therefore, tells us that terrorism will continue to pose a threat to India for many, many years to come since it cannot be exorcised overnight," said Dr. JP and listed five measures that should be taken to tackle it.
First, a federal agency should be constituted to deal with terrorism all over the country by integrating the services of India's internal and external, and national and State intelligence agencies. Rapid action forces, comprising well-trained personnel, should be stationed at all important and vulnerable places for deployment at short notice. Politicians and State Governments of all hues should subsume their narrow political interests in the larger goal of preserving India as a nation.
Second, all politicians should realize that extraordinary situations warrant extraordinary measures. They should support a vigorous and aggressive drive against all forms of terrorism and all perpetrators, without unnecessarily dragging religion into the picture. Terrorism knows no religion. A strong law is needed to reconcile the imperative of the national security with the freedom we enjoy. We cannot weaken security agencies by inadequate laws, slow investigation and unending trials.
Third, all political parties, setting aside their narrow, partisan electoral interests, should facilitate the issue of national identity cards to all Indians. "We have the technology and resources to turn the proposal into a reality in a very, very short time."
Fourth, there should be a broad consensus on ensuring secular and skills-oriented education to every child born in the country. Children from poor and hapless families, who are drawn to 'madarsas,' are denied modern education including science, mathematics and English. Even as they reach their teens, terror outfits recruit some of them to carry out their nefarious designs.
Finally, politicians should pledge that they would not interfere with the functioning of the security agencies. "Our forces have repeatedly demonstrated they can deliver provided their hands are not fettered. But unfortunately, incompetent and corrupt leadership has been demoralizing the security agencies. "We cannot delink India's vulnerability to terror from the failure of political leadership." In the 1993 Bombay blasts, RDX was imported by bribing corrupt customs officials. Weak, incompetent and corrupt leadership is now allowed to rise in the system at the cost of national security and public good. Short term political considerations are playing havoc with national security and public safety. People have contempt for our leadership, and the legitimacy of state is eroded. We can safeguard our nation only when we change the image of government and restore the trust of citizens.
Dr. JP said he was proud that all wings of the armed forces, the State, city and central police and other agencies have risen to the occasion with effective coordination among themselves in handling the Mumbai terror fallout. "By leading from the front and making the supreme sacrifice in the onslaught against terrorists the Mumbai police top brass have excelled both in life and death."
Dr, JP conveyed his grief over the death of innocent people and police personnel and conveyed his condolences to their families.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The Lok Satta district unit leaders staged a protest at the Ambedkar statue here on Tuesday condemning the remarks made by Major Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah against Jayaprakash Narayan.
Sporting banners and raising slogans, they staged a demonstration. Lok Satta district president P. Kodandarama Rao accused Mr. Lakshmaiah of resorting to mudslinging and trying to malign the character of Mr. Narayan.
“The Minister should answer to the doubts of people in a democratic way democracy rather than divert people’s attention by resorting to mudslinging.
He should explain how the lift irrigation projects are feasible,” Mr Rao said. The Lok Satta party demanded that the Minister come out clearly on the feasibility of Pranahita-Chevella project. The project was aimed at hoodwinking the people on the eve of elections.
As remarked by Mr. Lakshmaiah, the Lok Satta chief never objected to the lift irrigation projects in the State during his career as civil servant. “Mr Narayan has unblemished record as a civil servant and as a social worker now. Making uncharitable remarks against such a person is totally condemnable,” Mr Rao said.
Courtesy: Andhra Rajakeeyam
Saturday, November 22, 2008
HYDERABAD: Is the State Government creating an unnecessary hype over the Pranahita-Chevella Sujala Sravanthi project and spending huge amount for the project which would serve no purpose? Yes, said Lok Satta Party president Jayaprakash Narayan.
According to him, farmers can lead a comfortable life if the Government deposits the Rs 38,500 crore in a bank and passes the interest to the farmers than spending it on the project. The State Government is spending Rs 38,500 crore for the Pranahita- Chevella project to lift water to a height of about 500 feet and irrigate 16.4 lakh acre in seven districts.
Assuming that there will be no cost or time overruns, the capital cost to irrigate an acre land will be Rs 2.5 lakh.
If the Government deposits the same amount in a bank and passes down the interest to farmers, they would receive about Rs 20,000 per acre at the rate of eight per cent bank interest.
"An additional amount of Rs 15,000 has to be spent towards electricity, operational and maintenance charges apart from an investment of at least Rs 10,000 per acre by the farmer for cultivating crop. I want to know which crop would yield an income of Rs 45,000 per acre, leave alone making profit," he asked.
He also expressed concern over the Government’s decision to allocate 3,375 MW for the lift irrigation scheme, while many villages are suffering without quality power supply.
Jayaprakash Narayan challenged Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy and Finance Minister K Rosaiah for a public debate on the project and to consider alternatives to the current policies of the State government for betterment of lives of the poor and needy.
He suggested the Government to spend the Rs 38,000 crore for development of infrastructure, industrialisation, agriculture and promotion of small towns and villages as the State is in financial crisis.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Cautioning the Andhra Pradesh Government against extending reservations in educational institutions and Government jobs beyond the present 50 per cent limit, the Lok Satta party today said it should instead provide free and quality education to all irrespective of caste, religion or financial status upto 12th standard.
The party's Working Committee, chaired by party President Jayaprakash Narayan, alleged that the state government was trying to gain political mileage ahead of the elections by dangling the carrot of more reservations for various communities.
"The Government would have to squarely shoulder the responsibility for any untoward events if it went ahead with its foolish move," it said.
Pointing out that there was discontent even among those enjoying reservations as the benefits were cornered by a few as evident from the Mala-Madiga and Gujjar-Meena confrontations in Andhra
Pradesh and Rajasthan respectively, Dr Narayan said a solution to the reservations issue does not lay in more reservations.
The problem would fade away if the government provided free and quality education to all irrespective of their caste, religion or financial status up to the 12th standard with English and computer studies as part of the curricula and enable all the desirous and deserving to pursue higher education, including professional courses at state cost, the committee said.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
The Lok Satta party today demanded that the Andhar Pradesh Government immediately appoint a chairperson to the State Women's Commission and help curb atrocities against women.
Addressing mediapersons here, party spokesperson S Manorama and Mahila Satta State Coordinator N Saroja Devi said about 13,000 cases of atrocities against women were pending with the commission. The Government's complacency in the appointment of a chairperson ran counter to its claim of empowering women, they claimed.
Demanding closure of belt shops, the Lok Satta leaders said mere extension of loans at three per cent interest would not make poor women self-reliant as they were the prime victims of liquor menace.
'Tapping huge revenue from liquor will never promote development'
Instead of making people self-reliant, they are made beggars, says party
HYDERABAD: Lok Satta Party (LSP) on Friday contested Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy's claim that his Government has done everything ranging from supply of rice at Rs. 2-a-kg, loans at three per cent interest rate and health care for all.
All these schemes put together have not brought about any significant transformation in the lives of the people, LSP spokesmen Katari Srinivasa Rao and B. Krishna Reddy said citing the visit by party president Jayaprakash Narayan to two villages, Enkatal in Ranga Reddy and Rama Reddy in Nizamabad recently.
They said the colleges in these two villages did not have adequate number of teachers. Lecturers appointed on contract basis were not paid salaries for the last six months. Nor were they equipped with laboratories. To make things worse there are no toilets for students.
At the primary health centre, two patients shared one bed and none in the two villages had availed of the medical treatment under Arogyasri. A large number of people suffered from malaria while malnourishment was rampant among children. "The sops that the Government provides by tapping huge revenue from liquor will never promote development. Instead of making people self reliant, the Government is turning people into beggars," they said.
Courtesy: The Hindu
Friday, November 14, 2008
Hyderabad | Thursday, Nov 13 2008 IST
Taking strong exception to the state government asking civic bodies to remit the fees collected under the building regularisation and layout regularisation schemes into the treasury, the Lok Satta today claimed it was totally contrary to Municipal Administration Minister Koneru Ranga Rao's promise that the amount would be kept in a separate account and utilised to meet local needs.
Briefing the media, party spokespersons Katari Srinivasa Rao and B Krishna Reddy said the Government had collected Rs 605 crore under the two schemes covered by GO 901 and 902, even as a public interest litigation petition filed by Lok Satta questioning them was pending in the High Court.
The Lok Satta had opposed the schemes right from the beginning as they sought to penalise innocent buyers of flats and plots instead of officials and builders responsible for irregularities, they said, adding that the Government was now seeking to divert the penal fees into the treasury to meet its expenses on ''unproductive schemes''.
The Lok Satta demanded that the Rs 605 crore be utilised towards improving civic amenities like parks, commmunity halls, playgrounds and roads in towns and cities, they added.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Hyderabad (PTI): A unique website aimed at empowering the people with various information about the candidates contesting an election of the assembly and Parliamentary election was launched here on wednesday by former Chief Election Commissioner J M Lyngdoh.
www.Empoweringindia.org aims at providing comprehensive information to the voters so that they can make an informed choice, Barun S Mitra of Delhi-based Liberty Institute, which developed the website, told reporters here. The website gives analysis of election results and details about candidates like their criminal background, if any, and other information, he said.
Lyngdoh said the website is "very flexible" and he favoured making public the disclosures made by candidates on election expenditure along with the comments of the election officials.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer I V Subba Rao said the website is a step in the right direction as it would help voters make an informed choice. He said the launch of the website is very timely as it came in the run up to the elections to Lok Sabha and assembly in Andhra Pradesh.
Bureaucrat-turned-politician Jayaprakash Narayan sought the media to focus on what is not disclosed by the candidates in their election affidavits. "If a candidate declares assets worth Rs 5 crores, the media highlights that. It does not generally focus on what is not disclosed. What is concealed is more important many times," he said.
Subba Rao later said the final electoral rolls would be ready in the state by January 10 and Photo Identity Cards would be distributed next month, he added.
Courtesy: The Hindu
In a candid admission that could seriously embarrass the ruling Congress, its spokesman N Tulasi Reddy said here today that only those candidates, who could rig, win elections in Kadapa district –– the home district of no less a person than Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy.
Speaking at a meeting organised by the Liberty Institute, he said, "in fact, all the winning candidates there owe their victory to rigging. All parties are searching for contestants who can rig polls in Kadapa district." He made these comments in the presence of Chief Electoral Officer IV Subba Rao. The Congress spokesperson further observed, "I have been involving myself in election process since 1983.
Earlier, candidates used to purchase voters wholesale by constructing churches or temples. Now, they are purchasing individual voters." When a participant sought to know if they were his personal observations or those of his party, Tulasi Reddy failed to reply prompting the other speaker, Lok Satta leader Jayaprakash Narayan, to quip: "As a party spokesman, his mind speaks. On occasions like this, his heart speaks."
Courtesy: Andhra Rajakeeyam.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
HYDERABAD: Lok Satta Party on Monday opposed the demand for 10 per cent reservation to Muslims and other minorities in education and government
jobs made by Jamiat Ulama- e- Hind at the two-day meeting organised here on Sunday.
Addressing media, Lok Satta president Jayaprakash Narayan said the Supreme Court had imposed a cap of 50 per cent on reservation. " Even, if such a quota is feasible, experience shows that only well-educated and economically well-off sections were enjoying its fruits", he said.
He also felt that such demands would trigger social discord and the issue would be used for vote bank politics. Instead, he suggested that 10 per cent bonus marks in admission to higher educational institutions irrespective of caste and religion, would help the minorities. It was high time to organise an open debate on reservations, he said.
Welcoming the Jamiat declaration that terrorism was the biggest crime as per Quran, Jayaprakash said the acts of terror, violence and brutality were perpetrated against innocent citizens by criminals and fanatics and not by Hindus or Muslims. He said Jamiat statement was in consonance with "Wahabism" in Saudi Arabia which has declared that terrorism has no place in Islam.
HYDERABAD: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) seems to be taking people for a ride. While inaugurating the drop box at IMAX cinema theatre in the presence of Chief Electoral Officer I V Subba Rao, to facilitate enrollment of unregistered voters in the twin cities and also for obtaining Electoral Photo Identity Cards, GHMC Commissioner S P Singh had announced that 2,000 drop boxes would be set up at different places in the twin cities for a period of one month.
They would be placed at all nationalised banks, e-seva centres, fair price shops, post offices, shopping malls and petrol bunks, he had said, but one can hardly find them at the above mentioned spots. Even a few drop boxes found at the GHMC head office, zonal offices and other places are not serving any purpose as one can hardly find electoral forms like 6, 7 and 8 at such places.
Yuva Satta, the youth wing of the Lok Satta Party, which inspected the above mentioned places, pointed out that drop boxes were available only at 15 to 20 places.
Yuva Satta volunteers inspected over 1,050 petrol bunks, post offices, banks, ration shops and super bazaars in 21 constituencies of the city. They found that drop boxes were available only at five post offices, six petrol bunks and four super bazaars.
GHMC officials told ENS that it would take a while to set up drop boxes at important places to help unregistered persons enroll as voters.
Courtesy : Expressbuzz.com
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
PR asked to spell out welfare policies, programmers
Chiru asked how he would rescue poor/middle classes
HYDERABAD: The Lok Satta Party on Friday ‘counselled’ the Praja Rajyam by asking it to capture people’s hearts by spelling out policies/programmes, rather than by demonstrating its strength.
In a statement, party spokesmen B. Krishna Reddy and K. Srinivasa Rao said people expected to hear from political parties as to how they proposed resolve their problems, instead of seeing a show of strength.
They were referring to the Praja Rajyam’s announcement of its leader K. Chiranjeevi’s second leg of ‘Praja Ankitha Yatra’ to cover Telangana districts.
Mr. Reddy asked Chiranjeevi to spell out how he would go to the rescue of the poor and middle classes, who were ‘crushed’ by the steep price rise and list out measures to bail out distressed farmers driven to suicide.
He asked how Praja Rajyam would tackle the menace of belt shops, which played havoc with the lives of millions.
HYDERABAD: Lok Satta Party charged that some people's representatives in collusion with officials had drawn compensation in the names of benami farmers in the land acquisition for the proposed aluminium factory by the Jindals in Boddavara region of S. Kota mandal in Vizianagaram district causing a financial loss to the tune of Rs 10 crore to the government of the Rs 22.44 crore paid as compensation.
While some fake landholders managed to get huge compensation, some genuine farmers were paid only nominal or nil compensation, it said in a release.
A five-member committee headed by the party's Vizianagaram unit, Bhisetty Babji, had conducted an inquiry in which the irregularities came out and they submitted a report to party president Jayaprakash Narayan. Although he had forwarded the report to the chief minister on September 8 seeking an inquiry, no action has been taken.
Now the party has demanded an immediate inquiry into this and action against the guilty and justice to the displaced farmers.
According to the report, in five villages, 12 benami farmers were paid Rs 35 lakh as compensation. Further, it was paid only for a part of the land acquired from D patta holders. Even in their case, officials handed over cheques to brokers instead of landholders so that they could have their cut. B Memo land holders were not paid any compensation at all.
Moreover, there were no proper records concerning land acquisition. Also, the records available did not tally with one another and some records looked apparently newly forged, said the report.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Hyderabad (PTI): Lok Satta Party headed by civil servant turned politician Jayaprakash Narayan, on Friday demanded an immediate inquiry into the alleged irregularities in payment of compensation for land acquired for Jindal Aluminium factory in Vizinagaram district.
The party alleged that some people's representatives, in collusion with officials, had drawn compensation in the names of farmers and caused financial loss to the government.
While some fake landholders managed to get huge compensation, some genuine farmers were paid only nominal or no compensation, the party said in a statement here.
The Jindals are building the aluminium factory in Boddavara region of S Kota Mandal in Vizinagaram district over 1048 acres.
According to the Lok Satta, the irregularties involved Rs 10 crore of the Rs 22.44 crore paid as compensation.
The party General Secretary D V V S Varma and party spokesman B Krishna Reddy said a five-member committee headed by Lok Satta Party's Vizinagaram unit, Bhisetty Babji, had conducted an inquiry and submitted a report to party President Jayaprakash Narayan.
HYDERABAD: The Telugu Desam party’s Yuva Garjana at Guntur was a mere manifestation of money power in politics and was meant to hoodwink people, the Lok Satta Party said here today.
According to a press release here, LSP spokespersons K Srinivasa Rao and B Krishna Reddy said the TDP, which claimed to root out corruption, should first be transparent in respect of its programmes, collection of funds, expenditure and selection of candidates to contest elections.
Those who spent crores of rupees on conduct of the meeting did so to earn many times of their investment once they assumed power.
"Could film star Balakrishna, who made his political debut at the meeting, claim that those who requisitioned helicopters to shower flowers on the audience did so with an altruistic motive," they asked. Rao and Reddy pointed out that the TDP and NTR clan were trying to encash NTR’s legacy instead of shaping the youth into responsible citizens.
Former Chief Minister and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu, instead of apologising to the public for the inconvenience caused by the traffic blockade for 50 km on the national highway, gleefully claimed it as an unprecedented event. Instead of pursuing issue-based politics, the TDP was seeking to impress the people with massive and pompous shows. "While Barack Obama got elected as US president through sheer strength of his personality and policies, the traditional parties here organise meetings in the name of 'growls and roars' and ferrying people like sheep to listen to them," they regretted.
HYDERABAD: Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy has ordered immediate closure of the belt shops identified by Lok Satta Party at 197 villages in 45 mandals of Nizamabad, Mahabubnagar, Prakasam, Krishna, Guntur, Nellore, Meak, Khammam, Karimnagar and Adilabad districts.
HYDERABAD: Lok Satta Party (LSP) spokesman Srinivas Rao said on Thursday that the Telugu Desam Party’s ‘Yuva Garjana’ at Guntur was a mere manifestation of money power in politics and meant to hoodwink the people.
Actor Balakrishna who made his political debut betrayed his ‘colossal political ignorance by claiming to decimate corruption with his laser eyes’.
A party which claimed to root out corruption should be transparent in its organisation, programmes, collection of funds, expenditure and selection of candidates, he said.
Those who spent crores on conducting the meeting did so to earn many times their investment once they assumed power, he remarked.
HYDERABAD: As an African-American with a Muslim middle name and no political lineage but a sound academic record and a clear vision gets ready to be sworn in as the 44th President of United States of America, an obvious question that makes the rounds back home is, can Hyderabad have an Obama too? Someone who could break the barriers of caste, creed and religion to become the face of the state one day?
Well, the city throws up one name Jayaprakash Narayan as the closest to Obama but note that the man with his heart in place has not been unable to connect with the masses. Other than him, they say, there is no hope for an Obama in Hyderabad until educated citizens join politics.
Denizens believe that even if Lok Satta founder Jayaprakash Narayan managed to gather appreciation for his "clean'' political efforts so far, but has failed to appeal to the masses. "Sometimes only having a clear vision does not help. The leader is a visionary but has been unable to generate public following which is stopping him short of becoming the face of the state," feels Director of Centre for Indian Ocean Studies P V Rao, who feels that Telugu Desam Party supremo N Chandrababu Naidu scores on the mass appeal front.
English and Foreign Languages University Vice-Chancellor Abhay Maurya also agrees with Rao and says that there is perhaps no one but Jayaprakash Narayan with whom some parallel could be drawn. "He is an activist known for his integrity and honesty. He is the only one who has tried to do something different in the state. Even though he probably has no chance of victory he comes the closest to being the 'Obama' of our state," says Maurya.
While some feel that issues in both countries being very different from each other leave no room for comparison between their leaders there are some others who are in awe of the latest American hero but have lost all hopes of a similar figure back home. "Politics in our country is very dirty. There is a huge leadership crisis and, therefore, I do not see myself looking up to anyone in politics," admits J Krishnamurthi the vertical group manager of a leading firm in the city.
"Perhaps it is too early to expect something like this in our state or for that matter in our country," feels D T Vinod Kumar, president of the Architects Association. "We will need to bring about a radical change in the mindsets of politicians and general public to get a leader like Barack Obama here and this can be achieved only through education. However, these days even if educated people enter politics with good intentions they change in no time and become like the rest," he says.
However, amid all this complaining there are people like film producer Sudish Rambotla who are still optimistic and are of the opinion that it would not be long before India too could boast of an Obama or two. "Things are changing in politics these days. Parties are becoming more professional and searching for talent outside. Unlike in the past when young people abstained from entering politics because they thought it was full of murk, today I see a lot of them taking interest in the field and coming forward to be part of it," says a hopeful Rambotla.