Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Unveil new politics in New Year: Dr. JP

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today appealed to the people of Andhra Pradesh to avail of the historic opportunity being presented by the general elections in 2009 to reject politics rooted in dynasties, money and muscle power.

Addressing the media on the occasion of Mrs. Gouthu Jhansi joining the Lok Satta Party after quitting the Praja Rajyam Party, Dr. JP said that the Lok Satta provided a forum to people who were fed up with traditional parties. "Lok Satta politics are policy based and people centered. It has thrown open its gates to people without looking into their pedigree or money power, or their caste and religion. It is the only party which is conducting its organizational elections by secret ballot from the mandal to the State level. The party is fielding young and educated candidates belonging to middle classes to contest the ensuing elections."

Dr. JP recalled that the Lok Satta registered significant victories in many matters on which it had been fighting for many years. They included Parliament passing the Gram Nyayalaya Bill, the Election Commission recognizing post office as a nodal agency for voter registration, and delimitation of constituencies.

Mrs. Gouthu Jhansi said she had quit the Praja Rajyam Party since she was not reconciled to its methods of working. Although it claimed to work for social justice, its actions belied its claims. She described her joining the Lok Satta as a home coming since she had been an admirer of it even before it became a party.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lok Satta welcomes HC decision on road shows

The Lok Satta Party today welcomed the Andhra Pradesh High Court permitting road shows provided they do not inconvenience people.

Party spokesman Katari Srinivasa Rao and Working Committee member N. Ravinder told the media that the Lok Satta has along maintained that political parties cannot violate citizens’ fundamental rights by turning roads meant for free flow of traffic to demonstrate their strength. The party as a matter of principle is also opposed to rasta rokos and bandhs as they abridged people’s freedoms.

The High Court, they said, was right in restricting the number of vehicles, banning roadside speeches, and limiting the processions to one side of the road as essential.

The Lok Satta Party suggested that the Government convene an all-party meeting and hammer out a consensus on the implementation of the High Court directives. The Government should not give scope for allegations of partiality in permitting road shows especially in the election year.

Money Distribution In Allagadda

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dr. JP faces contest from two others in Lok Satta Party elections

Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan and two others filed their nominations for the position of the Lok Satta Party President here today. The other two challenging the incumbent President Dr. JP are D. V. S. S. Varma, General Secretary and Mrs. Akula Maharani, Greater Hyderabad Mahila Satta President, at present. Mr. Nanidpeta Ravinder, the incumbent, filed his nomination for the post of President, Greater Hyderabad party unit.

All the three submitted their nominations to the Chairman of the Election Authority, Mr. V. Ramachandraiah.

A candidate contesting for the State President’s position should have the support of at least 1000 active members of the party. Dr. JP is backed by 1438, Mr. Varma by 1230 and Mrs. Maharani by 1131 active members from various districts.

December 25 is the last date for filing nominations. The final candidates in the fray will be announced after scrutiny on December 26. The elections to positions in the party at all levels will be conducted during January 4-7 and the results announced on January 9.

Dr. JP appealed to party members to take part in the polling actively, and pledged to work with anybody who is elected. Anybody who becomes a member even on the polling day is eligible to vote.

He recalled that Subhash Chandra Bose had fought against Mahatma Gandhi and won as Congress President in the Haripur Congress and added that post-Independence, parties have shed their democratic culture and become leaders’ pocket boroughs.

Dr. JP said: “In leader or dynasty-centered politics, corruption will have a field day. Internal democracy is essential if ordinary members were to have any say in politics. We are conducting organizational elections, unfazed by the general elections round the corner, because we believe in democratic functioning.”

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Papers filed for Lok Satta president's post

HYDERABAD: Lok Satta president Jayaprakash Narayan, general secretary D.V.S.S. Varma and Greater Hyderabad Mahila Satta president Akula Maharani on Wednesday filed their nominations for the post of party president.

Nandipeta Ravinder, the incumbent, filed his papers for the post of Greater Hyderabad unit’s president.

All three nominations for the party chief’s post were submitted to V. Ramachandraiah, chairman, election authority, a press release issued by the party said.

A candidate contesting the State president’s post should have the support of at least 1,000 active members.

Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan is backed by 1,438, Mr. Varma by 1,230 and Ms. Maharani by 1,131 active members from districts.

December 25 is the last date for filing nominations. The final candidates in the fray will be announced after scrutiny on December 26.

Elections will be conducted during January 4 to 7 and the results announced on January 9.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Can we walk the talk?

The recent terror attacks have shaken middle class and young India as never before. Millions have responded with grief for the senseless slaughter of innocent people, and anger at the corruption, incompetence and abject failure of politicians. The revulsion of dysfunctional politics is palpable.

Happily, this time there is a realisation that we cannot shun politics. More and more from middle classes are now registering as voters and exercising franchise. In the states that went to polls last week, people voted thoughtfully, not emotionally. There is recognition that politics shapes our future. But there is also a sense of resignation that nothing much can be expected from current politics. The only celebration on election results is seen among party workers and elected candidates.

For a nation which celebrates its elections, this quiet resignation is a reflection of minimal expectations. The moribund parties are bereft of ideas and hope. They all have been tried and tested, and all are found wanting. We can no longer pretend that one more change of government will change our lives.

This combination of rising political interest and growing despair poses a challenge and provides an opportunity. Despite a few politicians of sterling virtues, as a rule our parties are uninspiring. Mired in vote buying, competitive populism, criminalisation, sloth, divisive and vote bank politics, monumental corruption and gross incompetence, traditional parties have failed spectacularly.

We need several Gorbachevs in each major party to rejuvenate our political system from within. But hoping for such reform in parties is putting too much faith in serendipity. We cannot take such a big chance with our future as a country and as individuals. Like it or not, politics shapes the world we live in, and the future of our children. We need to be engaged.

Naoroji, Tilak, Gokhale, Gandhi, Ambedkar, Azad, Chittaranjan Das, Bose, Rajaji, Prakasam, Sarojini Naidu — all these represented the best and brightest in our society. They all entered politics, enriched our lives, and shaped our destiny. Today such people are deterred from public life. Pedigree, ill-gotten wealth, caste and criminality are the passports for political recruitment. How many Indians of ability, integrity and passion can we think of, who rose in public life without pedigree in the past two decades? If a Barack Obama seeks to contest for the state assembly in Karnataka or Andhra Pradesh, he would be summarily rejected by the traditional parties because he does not have crores of unaccounted and ill-gotten money to buy votes! Is it a surprise that our government is in shambles? If it requires great ability and dedication to run an office or company, can the nation be run by morons, crooks and political heirs?

What do we do now? The best and brightest must once again take to politics as a calling. If traditional parties are too moribund, we need to create new parties as genuine vehicles for political action. There is no escape from parties in a democracy. But we need a party platform with powerful ideas, and practising internal democracy and transparency in funds. People want change. Collectively we have a sense of what needs to be done — national security, public order, justice, rule of law, education, healthcare, skills and employment, effective markets and value addition in agriculture, rural-urban linkages, in situ urbanisation, infrastructure, a measure of social security for the poor, local governments, citizen empowerment, and zero tolerance of corruption. Past experience and global best practices offer us great lessons in accomplishing these goals. We have the resources and technology needed, if only we harness than wisely.

But we need to learn to work in teams. Petty jealousies, turf wars, and divisions must be submerged in the quest for larger goals. A genuinely democratic party must accommodate all views, and ensure discipline, synergy, competition and promotion of the truly gifted leaders. Above all a party must reconcile conflicting interests in society. If we care deeply enough, we can find realistic answers to all our vexing problems — reservations, SEZs, big projects etc. That is what true politics is about.

One special challenge today is, the idea of India is in retreat. Political India is fragmented, and there are no national verdicts. The composition of Parliament is now merely the aggregate of verdicts in states. This should change. Meanwhile, big change will have to come in metropolitan cities and one or two big states where widely respected, popular movements can influence the thinking of most people. Once we demonstrate the possibility of change in action, much of India will follow suit. We must simultaneously engage with the established parties to force the pace of change. Massive political transformation in a complex and vast nation is not easy. But it is within reach.

The time is ripe. Real and lasting change needs vision, audacity, courage, talent, patience, hard work, tact, humility, and sacrifice. Coming general elections offer us an opportunity to begin this process of change. Are we, the privileged Indians, up to the task? Can we walk the talk?

(The author is the president of Loksatta Party)

Land acquisition by deploying police shameful: Lok Satta

The Lok Satta Party said today that the Government should be ashamed of acquiring land for the Kakinada SEZ (special economic zone) by deploying police. “If the farmers of Tondangi and Kothapalli mandals in East Godavari district are resisting land acquisition, the Government alone is to blame.” Talking to the media, party spokesman Katari Srinivasa Rao and Working Committee member N. Ravinder said violence normally erupted in land acquisition when farmers are not adequately compensated.

The Lok Satta leaders said controversies over allocation of huge chunks of land to SEZs underlined the need for an independent agency to determine the land needed for any project or industry planned in the SEZ. Small countries like South Korea and Israel have demonstrated that even big industries do not require thousands of acres of land as in India. “Agitations by farmers can be preempted if they are paid higher than market rates for land, given a share in the developed land and assured training and employment to at least one member of the family to be displaced.”

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Special Courts should take up the cases: Loksatta

Idhi Maa Satta - Contestants of Loksatta, Hyd

Lok Satta releases first list - The Hindu

Names candidates for 36 Assembly constituencies

HYDERABAD: The Lok Satta on Monday announced its first list of 36 candidates to contest the 2009 Assembly elections, giving representation to 22 candidates belonging to ‘discriminated sections’, including women.

The party also requested 27 nominees, including its State leaders, to enter the poll fray without selecting the constituencies. The list includes seven constituencies in the city.

Selection criteria

Releasing the list here, party president Jayaprakash Narayan said there were 11 businessmen, five each lawyers and doctors and three each housewives, from education-related fields and social activists. He stated that the candidates had been selected unanimously and where it was not possible, elected. The criteria for selection was ‘competence, leadership qualities and passion for service’.

Dr. Narayan said the party welcomed public-spirited persons to contest on behalf of the Lok Satta.

Replying to a question, he said the party had asked him to contest, but he was yet to decide whether he should contest for the Assembly or the Lok Sabha.

The list of candidates is: Y. Rama Rao (L.B. Nagar), K. Srinivas Rao (Seri Lingampally), N. Ravinder (Qutbullapur), Rohit Kumar (Musheerabad), Pratibha Rao (Jubilee Hills), Maharani (Secunderabad), A. Subhashini (Khairatabad), T. Annam Naidu (Amudalavalasa), D. Eshwar Rao (Gajapatinagaram), B. Appa Rao Babji (Vizianagaram), Biharilal (Gajuwaka ), G. Narayana (Anakapalli), K. Jayasri (Jaggampet), V.S. Kanchustambham (Prathipadu), K. Venkateswar Rao (Peddapuram), G. Janakirama Raju (Undi), U. Rajamani (Pamurru), K.V. Basaveswara Rao (Vijayawada East), Jnanamba (Vijayawada Central), Chennupati Vazir (Penumaluru), M. Bal Ranga Reddy (Giddaluru), Ch.Venkat Reddy (Markapuram), N. Sridhar (Nellore Town), K.V. Krishnaiah (Gudur), M. Mallikarjuna (Palamner), Jagan Mohan Raj (Rajampet), K. Kondaiah (Anantapur Town), P. Srinivasa Rao (Tungaturti), K. Rajender (Suryapet), S. Raghavulu (Khammam), U. Narender (Wyra), P. Nageswar Rao (Paleru), P. K. Rama Rao (Warangal West), M. Saroja (Chennuru), M. Rama Reddy (Yellareddy).

Courtesy: The Hindu

Loksatta Announces First List

Lok Satta releases first list of Candidates for Assembly poll

The Lok Satta Party today released the first list of 35 candidates who will be contesting the 2009 Assembly elections. The list includes 21 candidates who belong to discriminated sections including women.

Releasing the list, party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan told a media meet that active members of the party had chosen the candidates taking into account their competence, leadership qualities and passion for service.

Dr. JP said the Lok Satta welcomed public spirited candidates to contest on behalf of the Lok Sabha since it was the only party which did not evaluate candidates on the basis of their caste or religion and wealth or pedigree. No competent candidate would be denied a ticket or an incompetent one issued a ticket based on his or her caste.

Dr. JP described the coming elections as a battle between those who want to continue the current corrupt political culture and those who are determined to usher in a new political culture. The party had decided to contest all the 294 Assembly and 42 Lok Sabha seats all alone since no other party could muster the courage to declare it would not induce voters with money and/or liquor and not field criminal and corrupt elements as its candidates.

Dr. JP declared that the Lok Satta believes that true social justice is achieved only by providing quality education, health care and training in skills and job opportunities to every one without reference to his her caste or religion. In contrast, the other parties are all trying to exploit caste in the name of social justice so that a select few from their castes could be provided avenues to enrich themselves at the cost of the rest of society.

Pointing out that an overwhelming majority of people were thirsting for change, Dr. JP said he had no doubt that they would stand by ‘dharma’ in the fight against ‘adharma’.

The following are the candidates:

Constituency - Candidate

L. B. Nagar - Yenugu Rama Rao

Serilingampalli - Katari Srinivas Rao

Kuthbullapur - Nandipeta Ravinder

Musheerabad - Rohit Kumar

Jublee Hills - Mrs. Pratibha Rao

Secunderabad - Mrs. Maharani

Khairatabad - Atluri Subhashini

Amadalavalasa - Tammineni Aannam Naidu

Gajapati Nagaram - Eshwar Rao

Vizianagaram - Bhisheti Appa Rao babji

Gajuwaka - Biharilal

Anakapalli - Garimella Narayana

Jaggampeta - Mrs. Kamineni Jayasri

Prathipadu - Venkata Satyaprasad Kanchustambham

Peddapuram - Karanam Venkateshwar Rao

Undi - Gottumukkala Janakirama Raju

Pamarru - Mrs. Udiga Rajamani

Vijayawada East - Koneru Venkatapurna Basaveshwara Rao

Vijayawada Central - Mrs. Jnanamba

Penumaluru - Chennupati Vazir

Giddaluru - M. Bal Ranga Reddy

Markapuram - Chittam Venkat Reddy

Nellore Town - Narra Sridhar

Guduru - Kundurti Venkata Krishnaiah

Palamaneru - Mokati Mallikarjuna

Rajampeta - Jagan Mohan Raj

Anantapur Town - Kondeti Kondaiah

Tungaturti - Srinivasa Rao Puduri

Suryapeta - Karpuram Rajender

Khammam - Raghavulu Samineni

Wyra - Undadi Narender

Paleru - Polisetti Nageshwar Rao

Warangal West - Parcha Kondanda Rama Rao

Chennuru - Mrs. Mekala Saroja

Yella Reddy - Marri Rama Reddy

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Desperate Ponnala resorting to abuse: Lok Satta

The Lok Satta Party today accused Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah of resorting to personal attacks, as he could not rebut the criticism that the Pranahita-Chevella lift irrigation scheme is economically unviable.

“It is only those who irresponsibly squander public money that harm public interest and not those who advocate prudence in Government spending”, Lok Satta Party spokesmen Katari Srinivasa Rao and B. Krishna Reddy told the media.

The Lok Satta, they made it clear, is not opposed to the provision of irrigation and drinking water to the Telangana region. It is only interested in ensuring that the money is not wasted on grandiose and unviable schemes when there are viable and better alternatives.

The Lok Satta challenged the Minister for a public debate on the project on any day and forum of his choice.

Lok Satta names returning officers

The Lok Satta Party has finalized the arrangements for its organizational elections with the appointment of returning officers for all districts and the cities of Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam. Mr. V. Ramachandraiah, Chairman of the Election Authority, said that nominations would be received on December 24 and 25 and elections held in the first week of January.

Following are the returning officers:

Srikakulam: A. Malleswara Rao

Vizianagaram: R. Rama Rao

Visakhapatnam: B. Krishnam Raju

East Godavari: Lakshmanacharyulu

West Godavari: K. Subba Rao

Krishna: Valluru Purnachandra Rao

Guntur: Dr. T.S Kumar

Prakasam: M. Chandrasekar Yadav

Nellore: Dr. Satyanath

Chittoor: R. MuthuKrishnan

Kurnool: Vasanthakumar

Kadapa: Rajasaheb

Anantapur: V. Vannurappa

Medak: D. Om Reddy

Khammam: R. Muralimaohan

Warangal: S. Krishna

Karimnagar: P. Kesav Rao

Nalgonda: Md. Alimuddin

Mahbubnagar: Ramachandra Goud

East Adilabad: Ch. Rajaiah

West Adilabad: L. GangaReddy

Ranga Reddy: J. Suryanarayana

Hyderabad City: J. Krishna Rao

Vijayawada City: M.S.N Murthy

Visakhapatnam City: P. Sankara Rao

Embrace new political culture, Lok Satta tells Chiru

The Lok Satta Party today told Praja Rajyam Party founder Chiranjeevi that people’s lives could not be transformed without clear-cut policies and a new political culture. The party pointed out that even men of impeccable integrity and competence like Dr. Manmohan Singh and Mr. L. K. Advani could make only a little impact on the political system or the lives of people because they had to work amidst corrupt culture.

Commenting on Mr. Chiranjeevi’s appeal to people to give him a chance so that he could change people’s lives, party spokesmen Katari Srinivasa Rao and B. Krishna Reddy told the media that a mere change of players without a change in the rules of the game would be of little value. A party could usher in new political culture only when it builds itself as a people-oriented and not as a family-centered institution, is transparent in its collection and utilization of funds, does not admit criminal elements and abstains from vote buying with money and liquor. The party should aim at ensuring quality education and healthcare and job opportunities to all irrespective of caste and religion, and not for a chosen few in the name of social justice.

Ponnala... Ready for Open Discussion on Pranahitha Design?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dr.JP Contesting From Kukatpally

Lok Satta asks Chiru to embrace new political culture

The Lok Satta Party today told Praja Rajyam Party founder President Chiranjeevi that people's lives could not be transformed without clear-cut policies and a new political culture.

The party pointed out that even men of impeccable integrity and competence like Dr Manmohan Singh and Mr L K Advani could make only a little impact on the political system or the lives of people because they had to work amidst corrupt political culture, a press release here said.

Commenting on Mr Chiranjeevi's appeal to people to give him a chance so that he could change people's lives, party spokesmen Katari Srinivasa Rao and B Krishna Reddy said a mere change of players without a change in the rules of the game would be of little importance. A party could usher in new political culture only when it builds itself as a people-oriented and not a family-centered institution.

It is transparent in collection and utilisation of funds and does not admit criminal elements and abstains from vote buying with money and liquor, they claimed. The PRP should aim at ensuring quality education and healthcare and job opportunities to all, irrespective of caste and religion, and not for a selected few in the name of social justice, it added.

Courtesy: WebIndia123

Friday, December 19, 2008

Accessible, Affordable and Speedy Justice to the Common Man

Setting up of Local Courts/Gram Nyayalayas in India

Here is a snapshot of milestone events leading to the passing of the historic Gram Nyayalayas Bill (2008) by the Rajya Sabha on December 17th, 2008:

August, 1997

  • Lok Satta Movement formed for ushering in fundamental democratic reforms in India. Its key goals include establishment of local courts for speedy, accessible and affordable justice (on August 3rd, 1997).
  • Lok Satta immediately launches pan-Indian advocacy-cum-communication campaign on the issue.

February, 2003

  • Lok Satta presents the draft AP Sthanika Nyayalaya Bill (2003) to the AP Bar Association.
  • Lok Satta brings together leading jurists, civil society activists, reputed academicians and (fmr) administrators on a common platform to push forward the agenda. (February 12th, 2003, Hyderabad)
  • Lok Satta, in consultation with the luminaries above, prepares the draft AP Nagar Nyayalaya Bill (2003) (February 25th, 2003)
April, 2005Dr. JP (on behalf of Lok Satta) makes a presentation on Access to Speedy Justice to the National Advisory Council (NAC); submits the draft Local Courts Bill (April 21st, 2005).
July, 2005

  • NAC accepts the draft Local Courts Bill submitted by Lok Satta and submits it to the Union Government.
  • Union Law Minister HR Bharadwaj announces the Gram Nyayalayas Bill, 2005 (formerly Local Courts Bill)

November, 2005 Dr. JP (on behalf of Lok Satta) proposes key revisions to the Gram Nyayalayas Bill (2005) incorporating major amendments with respect to the functional and territorial jurisdiction and improving access and justice delivery to the common citizens.

December, 2005 NAC accepts Lok Satta’s amendments and communicates the same to the Union Government (December 7th, 2005).
May, 2007

  • Government accepts the recommendations of the NAC on Gram Nyayalayas; comes up with draft Gram Nyayalayas Bill (2007)
  • Draft bill introduced in the Rajya Sabha and referred to the EM Sudarsana Natchiappan-led Standing Committee.
  • Committee recommends key changes in the draft Bill to the Union Cabinet; Cabinet accepts amendments and prepares revised version.
  • Lok Satta closely involved in all stages involving drafting and amending draft bill.

December, 2008

  • Gram Nyayalayas Bill (2008) passed by Rajya Sabha (December 17th, 2008; Bill XLVII of 2008)
  • To be passed by the Lok Sabha.

Village Courts Bill Historic: Dr. JP

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today termed the passage of the Gram Nyayalaya Bill 2008 by the Rajya Sabha as historic in that it seeks to restore the culture of the rule of law which is becoming gradually extinct.

Addressing the media, Dr. JP pointed out that poor rural and urban people have not been able to access courts because of barriers posed by costs, distance, language and procedural difficulties. Under the proposed legislation, judges of the rank of first class judicial magistrates will themselves go to the people, conduct the proceedings in the local language and dispose of the cases on the spot. The absence of such a system for disposal of small offences or disputes at the grassroots level has emboldened perpetrators of small offences to mature into big time offenders. It has also made perjury (lying under oath) all pervasive. The advent of grama nyayalayas will reduce, if not eliminate, perjury as the guilty will think twice before lying in the presence of co-villagers.

Dr. JP recalled that the Lok Satta movement had been seeking the formation of local courts ever since it took birth in August 1997. It had in consultation with jurists and other experts in Andhra Pradesh prepared a draft Bill in February 2003. The National Advisory Council, of which Dr. JP was a member, accepted the draft Bill prepared by the Lok Satta in 2005. The Rajya Sabha passed the Bill yesterday. Dr. JP hoped the Lok Satta too would adopt the Bill soon and make justice accessible to people at their doorstep.

Dr. JP referred to the unconscionably large number of cases pending in courts all over the country and said, “Justice delayed is justice denied”. He cited how the killer of Jyotirmoy, a Telugu student in Birmingham, was sentenced to life imprisonment within seven months of the offence taking place whereas it took more than seven years for the court to award its punishment in Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case.

Referring to the Pranahita-Chevella lift irrigation scheme, which Chief Minister Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy has been defending as essential to turn Telangana green, Dr. JP demanded that the Central Water Commission review all the big lift irrigation projects taken up by the Andhra Pradesh Government. Even according to the Chief Minister’s own admission, the capital cost of irrigating an acre under the Pranahita-Chevella scheme costs Rs.2.5 lakh. The recurring expenditure of supplying water per year works out to Rs.30,000, not to take into account the farmer’s investment in raising a crop. How could agriculture be remunerative in such a context, asked Dr. JP.

Dr. JP said that the Pranahita-Chevella would be a white elephant and not a “Kamadhenuvu”, as is being claimed by the Chief Minister. If the same amount was spent on tapping water in streams and rivulets, and on small lift irrigation projects, 20 lakh acres can be irrigated.

Dr. JP said the skewed priorities of the Andhra Pradesh Government could be gauged from the fact that a woman had tried to sell her just-delivered baby at Hanamkonda as she could not take care of it and yet earn her livelihood as a daily wage worker. The mother of two children had been deserted by her drunkard husband.

Lok Satta For Campaign On Sanitation

The Lok Satta Party exhorted Andhra Pradesh government to launch a campaign to educate the people on the use of toilets and ensure that public health is not endangered because of unhygienic practices. Party spokesman Katari Srinivasa Rao and Working Committee members N Ravinder and Ms K Gita Murthy told newspersons that the media that the Government could think of utilizing the services of youth for maintenance of toilets and provide them livelihood. They were commenting on the report that around 85 per cent of the rural population in the State still defecates in the open and that although 58 per cent of the rural areas have toilets, only 30 per cent of them are used. Meanwhile, retired Director General of Police of West Bengal Devendranath Pandey, who is now settled in Hyderabad, today joined the party.

Inducting him into the party's Working Committee, party president Jayaprakash Narayan said Mr Pandey joining the party underlined the quest for change that is evident among youth and middle classes in the country. Having been fed up with traditional parties which had failed the country, more and more number of people throughout the country are looking for a meaningful alternative that will change the nature of politics.

Courtesy: WebIndia123

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dr.JP, D.V.V.S.Varma and Maharani to Contest for President

Lok Satta party will contest all the 294 Assembly seats and may go it alone in the ensuing Assembly elections, said State unit secretary Bandaru Rammohan Rao.

He said his party was ready to join hands with any party that said no to distribution of money and liquor to get votes and also to candidates with criminal background. The party tried to come to an understanding with the Left parties, but in vain. "There is no response from them and hence we have decided to go it alone," he said.

Mr. Rammohan Rao, who was here to oversee the organisational election, said unlike other parties which turned out to be personal fiefdoms and family-run organisations, the Lok Satta decided to hold elections to all its offices, including that of the State unit head.

"There are two persons in fray for the post now being held by Jayaprakash Narayan. Our general secretary D.V.V.S. Varma and Maharani are contesting for the post. Some more contestants may come forward before the polling begins on January 4," he said.

The Lok Satta is holding elections at village, mandal and district level to elect unit heads.

About 10,000 members of the party will elect their mandal and district unit presidents, said district unit president Parcha Kodandarama Rao.Presently, the party is organising mandal-level training camps for ordinary and active members on the organisational elections.

Karnool Staff Reporter writes: General secretary of Lok Satta D.V.V.S. Varma has said the party will go it alone in the next election in the state to save its image. Mr. Varma told The Hindu that the party had come to a conclusion that it would be at the receiving end if it had truck with any party.

The Lok Satta would be accountable for all the mistakes of allies if it had truck.He said most of the parties had converted election into a short-term business wherein they could invest some money in the election and earn later. On the other hand, some of the parties were run as family business ventures with only the close members of the family being at the helm.

He said in the next election the entire family would be on the streets pleading for the votes for its kin. All people's issues would be pushed under the carpet.

He said the government was reducing the voters into alms-seeker by introducing doles.

He said the governments were not thinking of providing quality education and health to public. Mr. Varma was confident of his party entering assembly this time irrespective of the number of seats it was going to win.

The party would continue to fight for its agenda of uniform education and reforms in the areas of police, justice and local self-governments.

He said the party would conduct its organisational elections next month in true democratic spirit and allowing any number of candidates to contest for president post.

Courtesy: Andhra Rajakeeyam

West Bengal Retd.DGP joins Loksatta

Former DGP joins Lok Satta

Mr. Devendranath Pandey, a retired Director General of Police of West Bengal now settled in Hyderabad, today joined the Lok Satta Party.

Inducting him into the party’s Working Committee, Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, Lok Satta Party President, said that Mr. Pandey’s joining the party underlined the quest for change that is evident among youth and middle classes in the country. Having been fed up with traditional parties which had failed the country, more and more number of people throughout the country are looking for a meaningful alternative that will change the nature of politics.

Mr. Pandey, a post-graduate from Allahabad University, joined Indian Police Service in 1956. He had the reputation of fighting against corruption and political interference in administration.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Will Dr. JP face contest?

Will there be a contest to the post of the President of the Lok Satta Party, now being held by Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan?

It seems likely, going by the party’s State Election Authority’s disclosure today that three sets of nomination had been collected by party workers. Nominations will be accepted on December 24 and 25, 2008.

Elections to leadership at all levels of the party are due to take place by secret ballot during January 4-7, 2009. The election results will be declared on January 9. 2009.

Talking to the media, Mr. P. S. Bhagawanlu, Mr. K. Madhusudhana Rao, Mr. M. Satyanarayana and Mrs. A. Annapurna, members of the Election Authority, said returning officers are being trained in conducting the elections in which nearly 500000 ordinary members and 70000 active members are expected to exercise their franchise.

It is for the first time in the history of political parties that organization elections to elect presidents and other office-bearers from the mandal to the State level are taking place directly and that too through secret ballot.

Higher Education Without Considering Caste and Religion

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Governments abusing CBI and ACB, Charges Lok Satta

The Lok Satta Party today accused both the Union and State Governments of misusing the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and the ACB (Anti Corruption Bureau) respectively to serve the ruling party interests.

Party General Secretary D. V. V. S. Varma told the media that the CBI had sought to drop investigation into a case of disproportionate assets against former UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and his kin at the instance of the Union Government. The same CBI had sought to reopen similar cases against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati in July 2008. Apparently, the Government wanted to reward Mr. Mulayam Singh for backing it and punish Ms. Mayawati for opposing it in the confidence motion on the nuclear deal.

In Andhra Pradesh, the State Government had watered down the powers of the ACB. In a recent instance, the Government prevented the ACB from pursuing a case of disproportionate assets against a motor vehicles inspector.

In contrast, Mr. Varma told the media, the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the U. S. arrested the Governor of Illinois on the charge that he sought to sell the U. S. senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder.

To prevent the Governments at both the Center and in the States from interfering in crime investigation, the agencies should be made totally autonomous, demanded Mr. Varma. Special courts should be constituted to go into corruption cases against politicians and top officials and measures initiated for the confiscation of ill-gotten properties.

GHMC succumbed to blackmail, Charges Lok Satta

The Lok Satta Party today termed the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation succumbing to religious pressure in agreeing to reconstruct a demolished temple obstructing traffic at Kothi here as a disgrace.

Lok Satta Party’s Working Committee members Laxman Balaji and N. Ravinder told the media that while the Constitution guarantees every one the right to worship the God of his or her choice, it does not permit construction of places of worship in the midst of roads and obstructing traffic much to the inconvenience of all road users. “No scripture says that the best place for worshipping God is in the midst of a road”, they said and added it was an insult to God and the to the faith people adhere to.

The Lok Satta said that the Government was duty bound to remove all such encroachments irrespective the religion to which they belong.

By agreeing to reconstruct the temple and suspending officials for undertaking the demolition, the authorities succumbed to religious blackmail, said the leaders. They also condemned the Sangh Pariwar for resorting to violence and obstructing officials from discharging their duty.

They accused the Government of interfering in religion by subsidizing Muslims’ travel to Haj initially and now Christians’ for places associated with Jesus Christ to serve their narrow vote bank politics. “One need not be surprised if a future Government subsidizes travel to Hindu places of worship like Kasi and Tirupati.”

The Lok Satta recalled that the Mulayam Singh Government had to withdraw its order declaring Friday a weekly holiday in its bid to placate Muslims when Muslims said they were interested in education, health care and job skills and opportunities and not a Friday holiday.

Lok Satta demands capital punishment

The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the law be amended to facilitate award of capital punishment to perpetrators of crimes like rape and disfigurement of women with acid attacks. The police should be made independent and the courts made to give out their verdicts in a specified period.

“But under no circumstances police should be allowed to take law into their own hands and render instant justice,” said the Lok Satta Party.

Party spokesmen B. Krishna Reddy and Katari Srinivasa Rao told the media that the Lok Satta Party fully empathized with the parents of the Warangal girl students who fell victims of an acid attack. Perpetrators of such crimes deserve no sympathy and the harshest punishment should be meted out to them.

“But in our agony and anguish we should not condone the police killing criminals since they might kill innocents on another day at the instance of those in power or the moneyed since we live in a society which subscribes to the ‘might is right’ theory.”

The Lok Satta leaders said there had been instances of the kin of politicians in Andhra Pradesh getting away with murder while the son of a Minister in Goa accused of rape was allowed to go scot-free. Unless the police were liberated from politicians, justice would continue get derailed.

If we feel happy now, We will have to cry

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lok Satta to give 33 per cent seats to women in AP elections

Hyderabad (PTI): The Lok Satta Party on Wednesday said it would give 33 per cent of seats in the ensuing elections in Andhra Pradesh to women and asked other parties to follow suit.

The party had already reserved one-third positions for women at all levels, Lok Satta Women's Wing Secretary D Saroja told reporters here.

Saroja demanded that all parties allocate 33 per cent of tickets to women in the forthcoming elections without waiting for the passage of a bill to that effect in Parliament.

Separately, the party suggested that the state government and politial parties must strive for a political solution to the Babli project dispute between Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

A political solution to the row is possible as Congress is in power both in AP and Maharashtra and in the Centre as well, the party said.

The construction of the Babli barrage and 11 other projects on Godavari river by Maharashtra has become a major issue in Andhra Pradesh with opposition parties taking it up in a big way.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has resumed its agitation over the issue with a party delegation that left for Delhi yesterday to press the Centre on the issue. Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy has met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the issue.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Strive for political solution on Babli issue : Lok Satta

The Lok Satta Party today suggested that the Andhra Pradesh Government and political parties should strive for a political solution to the Babli project dispute between Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Lok Satta Party spokesperson S.Manorama and State working Committee member S.Geeta Murthy told the media that a political solution was possible because the Congress was in power in both Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra and it led the UPA Government at the national level.

They pointed out that precious time would be lost if the matter was to be resolved by constitutional organs and recalled that the Bacchawat tribunal, appointed in 1969 for sharing of river waters announced its award only in 1980. Even then it merely sanctified an agreement reached among States.

The Lok Satta Party cautioned political parties against exploiting the issue for partisan considerations and inciting the public of one State against another.

Field women in 33% seats - Demands Mahila Satta

The Mahila Satta today demanded that all parties allocate 33 percent of tickets to women in the forthcoming elections to the Assembly and the Lok Satta, without waiting for the passage of a bill to that effect in Parliament.

Mahila Satta Secretary D.Saroja welcomed the election of a large number of women to five Assemblies in the just concluded elections. She was glad the participation of women in polling too was heavy.

She pointed out that the Lok Satta Party had already reserved one-third of positions to women at all levels and committed itself to fielding women in 33 percent of seats in the 2009 elections. All parties should utilize the upcoming elections for women empowerment by emulating the Lok Satta Party, she said.

Lok Satta Party's Citizen Help Center in Mothkur, Nalgonda

Dr.Jayaprakash Narayan opens the Citizen Help Center in Mothkur, Nalgonda district. Setting up of this Citizen Help Center has been made possible due to the unstinted support of Raghava Reddy Solipuram (of Mothkur currently residing in Texas, USA).

Monday, December 8, 2008

Fiscal stimulus package welcome: Dr. JP

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today welcomed the Union Government's package to stimulate the economy, now in a downturn, as "welcome, necessary and well-targeted."

Although it might lead to budgetary deficit and contravene the FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budgetary Management) Act, the package is perfectly justified against the backdrop of global recession and its impact on India. "Deficits need not be feared under such circumstances."

By not addressing the low incomes and educated unemployment, the stimulus package fell short of medium term requirements. The real solution lay in vigorous skills and jobs promotion and focus on universal education and health care.

People seeking change: Dr. JP

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said today the results of Assembly elections in five States proved the people rejected political parties' attempts at dividing them on the basis of religion and caste.

In a media statement, Dr. JP said that people expressed their desire for change by voting for the best among the alternatives open to them. They would have certainly voted for a clean new alternative had there been one. The elections also demonstrated that parties could not depend on 'anti-incumbency' to waft them onto victory.

Dr. JP pointed out that attempts to whip up people's sentiments on terrorist strikes in Delhi and Mumbai and exploit the controversy between Gujjars and Meenas on the issue of reservations had backfired.

"The national parties are paying a heavy price by not seeking replacement of the present first-past-the-post electoral system by a proportional representation system. The BSP cut into the Congress votes and adversely its performance in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi."

Lok Satta to go it alone, contest for all seats

HYDERABAD: The Lok Satta Party will field its candidates in all the 294 constituencies in the 2009 elections to the Legislative Assembly.

Announcing this at a press conference here on Sunday, Lok Satta president Jayaprakash Narayan said that his party had decided to go it alone because no party was willing to conform to the minimum standards of political behaviour stipulated by the party.

The Lok Satta Party would like parties to pledge themselves against inducing voters with money and liquor and against fielding criminal and corrupt elements as candidates, and follow policies that treat people with respect and not as beggars.

JP said that the party would be releasing its first list of contestants for 30 seats on December 20 and for the remaining seats subsequently in batches.

Referring to the widespread revulsion against politics in the wake of the terrorist attack on Mumbai, JP said there was no point in running away from politics because politics alone shaped the country's future.

"If people of ill-gotten wealth or sons and daughters of politicians or criminals happened to rule the country it was because the people had voted for them. You reap as you sow. A solution to the present malaise lies in the best and the brightest plunging into politics," he said.

The Lok Satta Party, would provide give tickets to the brightest to contest the polls and would not look into caste or the pedigree or affluence of the applicant. Leadership qualities and credibility will be the only criteria, he added.

JP pointed out that traditional parties in Andhra Pradesh today would not field even a Barack Obama as their candidate because he does not have his own money of Rs 5 crore being demanded by the parties to splurge on vote buying and liquor distribution.

Money power and caste loyalties do have a sway over one-third of voters but the vast majority of voters are on the look-out for clean and competent candidates. Traditional political parties as also the media are perpetuating the dangerous and absurd myth that nobody can win an election without spending Rs 5 crore and polarising voters on caste lines.

However, most people are disgusted with traditional politics, and are seeking a clean break from the past, he added.

Courtesy: Times Of India

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Human chain against terror

HYDERABAD: The Lok Satta Party today organised a human chain on the Tank Bund to pay homage to people killed in the Mumbai terrorist attack.

Party spokesman Katari Srinivasa Rao and Greater Hyderabad unit president N Ravinder said Hyderabad accounted for 3,000 of the 10,000 terrorists in the country. Police were unable to discharge their duties because of political interference, they charged.

Courtesy : ExpressBuzz

Mundukochche Partilatho Poththu : Loksatta

Dr. JP welcomes Aamir Khan's call for Clean and honest politics

Lok Satta President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan has welcomed Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan’s call for the emergence of a political party which stands for “clean and honest politics".

In his blog, Aamir Khan had blamed all political parties for failing to tackle terrorism and added that the people too were to blame for not exercising their right to vote and making injudicious choices. He said, "We can only blame ourselves guys. Half of us don't go to vote. The half that does vote has selected these guys."

In a letter to Aamir Khan, Dr. JP pointed out that "The mindless anger of many people against politicians can easily become anti-political and lead to chaos and disintegration or authoritarianism. We need clean and honest politics with a practical and inclusive agenda. Vote buying and inducements and stoking flames of hatred and divisions should give way to meaningful public discourse and the awakening and mobilization of citizens."

Recalling that the Lok Satta movement, engaged in political and governance reform work for over 12 years, had achieved impressive results, Dr. JP said, "But we have come to the conclusion that unless a new political culture is evolved all else is lost." That was why the Lok Satta Party was launched two years ago. Dr. JP pointed out that the Lok Satta's political base is in Andhra Pradesh for the time being since building a national political entity is a Herculean task and needs vast resources and leadership of many credible people across the country."

Dr. JP said: "Your words are music to the ears of all lovers of liberty and national integration. We should meet at the earliest to share ideas and see how best we can take them forward."

No opportunistic alliances, Declares Lok Satta

The Lok Satta Party will rather go it alone than enter into opportunistic electoral alliances in the ensuing elections to the Assembly and the Lok Sabha.

Stating this unequivocally in a political resolution, the Working Committee of the party, which met today, said that any alliance should be based on policies that would change politics and improve people’s lives. "The party extends its hand of friendship to any party, including Praja Rajyam, which are prepared for policy-based alliances. But under no circumstances will the party enter into an opportunistic alliance with an eye on winning a few more seats."

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan and General Secretary D. V. V. S. Varma conducted the proceedings.

In its analysis of the current situation, the Lok Satta Party said politics in the State are caught up in a dangerous, vicious cycle. First, the most pernicious element is the play of money power. Parties are getting ready to field candidates who can spend at least Rs.5 crore- Rs.6 crore each to get elected. Already parties have been spending money like water to mobilize people for meetings and road shows. Second, the main parties have become private estates of certain families and their followers. Third, the parties are focusing their attention on caste-based mobilization of votes. Fourth, the parties are trying to encash the glamour and charisma of movie stars instead of engaging themselves in a discussion on political policies. Fifth, the parties are offering sops, freebies, subsidies and concessions all of which turn people into mendicants rather than on policies that make people self-reliant. Sixth, the parties are reciting social justice mantra to masquerade their bid to give tickets to multi millionaires belonging to weaker sections.

The Lok Satta said that it would not like to get sucked into the vicious political cycle. Instead, it aimed at breaking the cycle by providing an alternative platform. "The party is aware that unshackling politics from money power is not easy but there is no alternative. If only people will it, the change can be effected in the coming elections itself," the party said. "The party, however, firmly believes that vast expenditure for buying votes and influence of ill-gotten wealth on politics are the root causes of monumental political corruption. The Lok Satta has emerged as a people’s platform to root out corruption and bring in clean politics."

The Lok Satta Party pointed out that a solution to the present political crisis lay in a moral revolution which it is spearheading.

The party sees many silver linings in the present dark political horizon. First, thanks to the likely multi-cornered contests in the State, one can win a seat with a share of 25-30 percent of the polled votes. Second, money and liquor influence only 40 percent of actual voters. If three or four parties share such tainted votes , each party gets only 10-15 percent. Third, 60 percent of actual voters are not vulnerable to money power and most of them happen to be employees, middle classes, farmers, youth and those who are concerned about the country. In addition, there are nearly 15 percent of voters who do not go to the polling booth because of their revulsion for the present-day politics. They will be ready to exercise their franchise if they see a party wedded to moral values.

Against such a backdrop, the Lok Satta Party felt it has a bright future if it mobilizes all people who stand for new politics. "If we engender confidence among all such people that they can open a new chapter in State politics with their vote, there will be a silent revolution."

Lok Satta unit formed in Karnataka

The Karnataka unit of the Lok Satta Party has come into being with the party’s Working Committee, which met here today, clearing the proposal emanating from Karnataka.

A number of citizens who met at Benagluru on October 25 decided to form the Lok Satta Party unit to foster a new political culture which places national interests above narrow sectional concerns based on religion, region, caste and language. The unit subscribes to internal democracy, transparency in political funding and probity in public life. Placing citizen at the center of governance and combating corruption and misgovernance form part of the party’s objectives.

Dr. Kesava Kumar was elected Karnataka State Coordinator, Mr. Ashok Kamat, State Secretary and Mr. Shashidhar Alabur, State Treasurer.

Dr.JP's Appeal To Youth

Dear friend,

Kindly send e-mails to the PM and to the addresses given below. Also forward this e-mail to your friends, relatives, all your contacts, and ask them to send e-mails. This effort will build pressure on the government and political parties to take necessary measures to tackle terrorism.

e-mail to : The President of India (Smt Pratibha Patil), The Prime Minister of India (Dr. Manmohan Singh), The Leader of Opposition Party in Lok Sabha (Shri LK Advani), The Chairperson of the UPA (Smt. Sonia Gandhi).

Email : ,,

text of letter to be sent is given below

Dear ……………….

We earnestly urge you to immediately act on the following critical areas for improving national security and to eliminate the scourge of terrorism from our country:

1. Utilize the powers vested by the Article 355 of our Constitution to protect States from external aggression and internal disturbance; classify terrorism and related offences as federal offences; entrust the investigation of these federal offences to an empowered investigative agency at the federal level; put into place a self-actuating mechanism under a unified command-and-control for coordinating anti-terror operations between various State police forces, armed forces and intelligence and investigative agencies. This mechanism must be geared towards prevention of terrorism including intelligence gathering, conducting operations against terrorist attacks, prosecution of terrorists and their collaborators and imparting just and appropriate retribution to the guilty parties.

2. The NSG should be based in and operating out of several locations across India to ensure that major habitations, strategic national assets and vulnerable areas are adequately covered.

3. Strengthen our anti-terror laws to permit the admission of confessions and depositions made before the police - based on prima facie evidence and involving due procedure, as evidence before courts of law. The burden of proof in cases of terrorism should be shifted on to the perpetrators of crime. In all terrorism offences, steps should be taken to safeguard the security of the judges, prosecution, investigators and including in-camera hearings, evidence through video camera, etc.

4. Implement a system of National Identification Card to ensure that identification of and intelligence gathering on anti-national elements becomes more effective.

5. Build consensus on systemic educational reforms to impart modern, skill-based and functional education to all children in religious schools – gurukuls, madarsas, etc. so that they do not become recruiting grounds for forces of disruption.

6. Work towards restoring the legitimacy of political leadership and state institutions by eliminating illegitimate money power in politics, curbing corruption and making crime investigation free from partisan politics.

We have great faith in your leadership and hope that your timely action will make our country safer for us ordinary citizens, in the days to come. Jai Hind!

…..(sender's name, email ID, contact, etc.…)………….

For further details or queries on the subject, please visit or contact Lok Satta Party at 040-23231818/2829 or write to

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lok Satta to decide on election strategy

To be or not to be part of an electoral alliance with any party?

That is the question the Lok Satta Party is to wrestle with at a two-day brain-storming session of its State Working Committee.

The Lok Satta Party, which came into existence on October 2, 2006 pledging to usher in new politics that revolve round people and not leaders, believes that people all over the country are thirsting for change. For more than five decades, they have been regularly going to the polling booth and casting their vote and electing one party or the other to power. Although people have been changing the players every five years, there has been no transformation in their lives by and large.

It is because politicians of traditional parties have turned politics, once a noble profession, into a money-making machine. They invest crores of rupees to get elected so that they can earn many times more than their investment in umpteen ways ranging from award of contracts to transfer and posting of officials. In their bid to get elected, traditional party politicians perpetuate dynastic tendencies, use money and muscle power, ensure free flow of liquor, exploit caste and religion and offer sops and freebies.

The Lok Satta Party came into existence at a time the people are steeped in despair and despondency over their inability to change the state of affairs. The Lok Satta tells the people there is no reason why they should feel helpless since they have the most powerful weapon of vote in their hands to change their destiny. Utilize the next election to write a new chapter in your lives, says the Lok Satta.

Against such a backdrop, the Lok Satta is grappling with the question of electoral alliances. It cannot align itself with either the ruling Congress or the Opposition Telugu Desam, which epitomize rotten politics in the country. The new party Praja Rajyam floated by movie star Chiranjeevi, to all intents and purposes, is following in the footsteps of traditional parties ranging from the admission of questionable elements into the party to the use of money power for demonstrating its support base.

The Lok Satta Party has made it plain repeatedly that it alone cannot transform politics and it is prepared to join hands with like-minded forces. It is ready to enter into an alliance with any party which pledges not to use money and liquor to induce voters, not to field criminals and the corrupt in elections and not turn people into mendicants.

The Lok Satta Party will evaluate the situation prevailing in the State and arrive at a decision in the next two days.

The party will also be focusing its attention on conducting organizational elections from the mandal to the State level by secret ballot and set an example to other parties on the virtues of internal democracy.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Money power in politics is more dangerous than terrorism

PAC manipulated to bury Yellampalli corruption
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today charged the ruling Congress with brazenly manipulating PAC proceedings to sweep an instance of monumental corruption in the Yellampalli project under the carpet. In the process, the ruling party has made a mockery of the Legislature and the Comptroller and Auditor General, both of which are supposed to act as custodians of public money.

Addressing the media, Dr. JP recalled that Mr. N. Sanjeeva Reddy resigned as Chief Minister in the late 1960s when the High Court merely observed that his decision to nationalize certain bus routes was arbitrary. There was no allegation of corruption. “These days we have to live with Governments which ignore allegations of even blatant corruption pointed out by investigative agencies, the media and the Opposition.”

The Parliamentary system provided for the formation of a Public Accounts Committee to oversee the spending of public money by the Government. By tradition dating back to decades, a member of the Opposition always headed the PAC to ensure that a Government enjoying brute majority in the legislature does not ride roughshod over it,

The CAG, an independent constitutional authority, had pointed out certain irregularities in the execution of the Yellamappli project on River Godavari ranging from upward revision of estimates to quality of materials used. As per the CAG, the Government has incurred a loss of Rs. 349.85 crores due to excess payment to the contractor. The PAC was expected to debate the report and arrive at a conclusion.

Dr. JP said that the PAC meeting was convened in the absence of the Chairman belonging to the main opposition party. Contrary to all traditions, it chose a member of the ruling party, that too of the Lower House, to preside over its proceedings and declared the Yellampalli project matter as closed.

“The indecent haste with which a serious matter involving abuse of public money is disposed of by a committee which gave a goby to all norms and traditions undermines people’s faith in the democratic process. Legislators seem to think they are not accountable to the public as they bought their way into the House with money and liquor.”

Dr. JP said that PAC members brazened out the Yellampalli controversy believing that might is right on a day brave Indian military and police personnel were shedding blood to save the nation from the all-out terrorist assault on the financial capital of India. “Such crassness merely accentuates the disenchantment of the youth and middle classes from politics.”

Dr. JP said Yellamapalli constituted merely the tip of the iceberg of corruption. “It is common knowledge that estimates are inflated to astronomical proportions so that the booty can be shared by politicians and officials. There are many instances of a contract changing hands five or six times before the final sub-contractor executes a project at 1/6th of the original cost. In one instance, a contractor who won the bid for a Rs.1500-crore project could clear his loans to financial institutions overnight by entrusting the execution of works to sub-contractors for huge commissions.

Dr. JP said that “so long as politics is practiced as a business proposition, it does not matter which party comes to power. The need of the hour is an all-out assault on money power in politics which is more dangerous than terrorists and RDX.”

Reject corrupt, dishonest politicians: Lok Satta

Lok Satta Party president N. Jayaprakash Narayan on Sunday gave a forceful call to the youth and the middle-class people to help bring about change in the present political system by electing truly honest, non-corrupt and trustworthy leaders.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Narayan asserted that a question of self-respect and a little soul-searching was posed to everybody now with voters being viewed as purchasable commodities during elections. “Shall this continue? Can’t you bring a change? If you can’t do it now, then you have no right to go on complaining against the system,” he said.

Mr. Jayaprakash Narayan appealed to what he described as good sense of the people, saying that there was no use if the people continued to express surprise rather than act to stop the corrupt politicians.

He advised the youth and the middle-classes to stop “acting” and start doing what was required to provide a right answer to the present ills of polity.

Mr. Jayaprakash Narayan asked the people whether they would prefer to stand as a mute witness to the continuation of a political system that wanted to welcome only those would be able to spend Rs. 5 crore to Rs. 10 crore in an Assembly constituency for the elections. “It is a question whether you are ready for changing this system. The time has come for action,” he said.

Stating that the present political bosses were not ready to change, Mr. Narayan asked whether the voters would not feel ashamed to continue electing such untrustworthy politicians to positions of power in this country. He asserted that it was only Lok Satta Party that brought before the people a unique agenda that provided solutions to all these problems.

Mr. Jayaprakash Narayan felt that the political system seeking to stick to power through electoral corruption was worse than the terrorists who struck in Mumbai. He expressed concern that to a large extent, the terrorists managed to gain entry into the country by offering bribes at every level, which exposed the vulnerability of the entire system.

He suggested making of tough laws even to the extent of placing the burden of proof on the accused so that terrorists would be taught serious lessons.

Courtesy: AndhraRajakeeyam