Thursday, December 31, 2009

Loksatta Party Major Events in 2009

State Would Emerge As Victorious In 2010 - Dr.JP Wishes

Involve elected representatives in Consultations: Dr. JP (Telugu)

Involve elected representatives in Consultations: Dr. JP

The Lok Satta Party today welcomed the Government of India decision to initiate consultations on the conflicting demands for the formation of a separate Telangana State on the one hand and for keeping the State intact and integrated on the other.

“There is no alternative to discussions for arriving at a settlement acceptable to all sections of people and all regions since it is humanly impossible to accommodate the two demands simultaneously,” said Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan here in a statement.

Dr. JP pointed out that the consultations should not be limited to political parties because they had exposed their crass opportunism by reneging on their pledged word and plunging the State into avoidable turmoil.

The Lok Satta President suggested that the Government of India take the views of elected representatives (MPs and MLAs) and civil society organizations also to hammer out a settlement that meets the concerns and aspirations of people in all regions of the State.

Now that the consultation process has been set in motion, all political parties and other organizations should immediately put an end to all forms of agitation in streets and return to the table for an honest, objective, rational and pragmatic discussion. Constitutional democracy dictates that disputes be resolved through sincere dialogue and not violent confrontations, he added.

Dr. JP hoped that people of all regions in the State would emerge victorious in the New Year and set an example to others in leading harmonious lives. He recalled that unlike other parties the Lok Satta had always practiced what it had advocated and earned people’s esteem for its ethics-based politics. In the New Year, it would focus on enrolling members and strengthening the organization.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Don’t be swayed by day’s headlines, Dr. JP counsels party leaders (Telugu)

Don’t be swayed by day’s headlines, Dr. JP counsels party leaders

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today counseled party cadres not to set their agendas going by the day’s newspaper headlines or hourly news bulletins on 24-hour news channels.

Addressing a meeting of party candidates who contested the 2009 Assembly elections and party leaders from districts, Dr. JP said true leadership lies in leading people and not being swayed by momentary passions. A political party should behave like a compass and not as a weather-wane.

The Lok Satta Party, he made it clear, did not view the current agitations for and against Telangana as a fundamental issue. A threat to freedom or secularism could be a fundamental issue but the formation of Telangana or keeping the State united was just a political, administrative arrangement. It is true that people are swayed by sentiment on both sides. But a mature political party should not be swayed by agitations carried on by a vocal minority to whichever region it belonged to. It should reflect calmly on the repercussions of any stand it might take.

Dr. JP refuted criticism in certain quarters that he had undertaken the Delhi mission as part of a secret agenda. The Lok Satta does not have a private agenda that is different from its public agenda. All that he had suggested to Central leaders was that peace, order and sanity should be restored as a top priority. He had told Central leaders that Delhi, having taken a decision on Telangana, could not resile from its stand even as it could not ride roughshod over Andhra Pradesh by forcibly imposing its will. A just solution would emerge only when the interests and aspirations of people in all the regions were considered. Discussions would narrow down differences and open the way for a settlement acceptable to all.

The Lok Satta would endorse whatever settlement that emerges after such wide-ranging consultations, Dr. JP said.

Meanwhile, the party would send a team comprising representatives of the three regions and representing all districts would go round district headquarters and municipalities and municipal corporations in the State, organize discussion forums and try to ascertain what their problems were and how the division of the State or failure to divide it would help them. The team will also organize gram sabhas in select villages.

During the day-long meeting the participants divided themselves into groups and discussed the party’s stand on the current political crisis as well as the action program the party should undertake.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lok Satta appeals for restoration of peace (Telugu)

Lok Satta appeals for restoration of peace

The Lok Satta Party today appealed to people of all regions in the State to give up all forms of agitation like fasts, bandhs and rasta and rail rokos, restore peace and normalcy and create conditions for a healthy and negotiated settlement on the political crisis in the State.

Talking to the media in the wake of the Delhi decision on the demands for the formation of a separate State and for keeping the State intact, party spokesmen Mr.Katari Srinivasa Rao, Mr.Y.D. Rama Rao, Mr.P.Ravi Maruth, Mr.V.Vijayender Reddy appealed to the media to pay a positive and creative role and promote amity among people of different regions in the State. Political parties and their leaders should refrain from making provocative statements and resorting to abuse and invective against each other all of which would merely undermine the parties’ credibility and complicate the situation. The political parties and leaders should ensure their members did not indulge in any acts that would harm the larger interests of the State.

Pending a negotiated settlement, the Government of India should initiate interim measures that address the concerns and aspirations of people in different regions of the State and facilitate the process of dialogue among people and parties of different regions in the State.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lok Satta pities Chiranjeevi’s ignorance (Telugu)

Lok Satta pities Chiranjeevi’s ignorance

The Lok Satta Party said today that PRP President Chiranjeevi has merely betrayed his colossal ignorance of the Constitution and democracy by questioning the rationale behind Lok Satta’s stand in favor of district governments. (Chiranjeevi has commented yesterday in Visakhapatnam that formation of district governments amounted to the State's vivisection).

Talking to the media, party spokesmen Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao, Mr. V.Laxman Balaji, Mrs. K.Geeta Murthy said that what all the Lok Satta had been agitating for is in accordance with the 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution which envisaged transfer of powers, responsibilities, resources and personnel to local governments. The Lok Satta stand is in tune with Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of gram swaraj.

The Lok Satta has all along fought for empowerment of panchayats, mandal parishads, zilla parishads, municipalities and municipal corporations so that they would be at the service of citizens who are sovereign in a democracy. Governments existed for people and not the other way round. The era of power vesting in the PM, CM and the DM (prime minister, chief minister and district magistrate) should give way for power in the hands of governments elected at the local level.

In response to Chiaranjeevi’s demand that the Lok Satta clarify where it stood on the demand for keeping the State intact, the spokesmen pointed out that unlike Chiaranjeevi, who changed his colors like a chameleon, the Lok Satta had taken a consistent stand right from the beginning. The traditional parties supported the division of the State one day and opposed it the next day unabashedly and cynically for short-term political gains.

“A mature political party would not function like a weathervane and be swept away when primordial loyalties to religion and region, caste and language take hold of people. After all, the State had been rocked by caste clashes in 1988 and communal riots for many years. Is it wise for any party to side this caste or that religion when tempers run high?”

“Neither heavens would fall nor an El Dorado unveiled with Telangana formation. The Lok Satta is not opposed to Telangana formation if such a consensus emerged in its favor after wide-ranging consultations with all the stakeholders. It has no objection to the State remaining united if that is the consensus.

“The traditional political parties should realize that the formation of a Telangana State is merely a means and not an end. There will not be any transformation in the lives of people unless they are empowered and corruption eliminated, and quality education, healthcare and livelihood opportunities provided to all without reference to the accident of their birth in a particular caste or religion or region.”

Political parties should stop playing to the galleries in a bid to manipulate gullible people for their partisan ends, added the Lok Satta leaders.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Don’t become scapegoats in regional politics, Dr. JP appeals to common people (Telugu)

Don’t become scapegoats in regional politics, Dr. JP appeals to common people

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today appealed to common and middle class people to immediately call off their indefinite fasts or fast unto death all over the State as part of their agitation either for separation of Telangana or against State’s bifurcation. They should not risk their lives and future as also that of their near and dear by being carried away by momentary passions since none will bother about them after the frenzy dies down. The rich and the powerful might stand to gain in many ways by resorting to indefinite fasts but not the common and middle class people. “Don’t become scapegoats in the games being played by political parties for short-term political gains.”

Dr. JP also appealed to people not to resort to bandhs and rasta and rail rokos which are playing havoc with the lives of daily wage earners, those in need of critical medical care and the studies of students. People could express their opinion through non-violent agitation without hurting others. “They are welcome to turn their wrath against political parties which have played with their lives by rousing their primordial loyalties.” He requested the media to help cool down tempers among people and the thinking people in all parties and organizations to shed their silence and work for restoring sanity in public life.

He was addressing the media after his return from Delhi where he met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Opposition leader L. K. Advani and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as part of his mission to defuse the present political crisis in the State.

His dialogues with national Government and party leaders, he said, had convinced him that the Government of India would come up with a solution that takes into account the aspirations and concerns of people in all the regions of the State. The Government of India is fully cognizant of the gravity of the situation.

Dr. JP said that “there is no magic formula that can simultaneously accommodate the demands for the State’s division as also for keeping it intact. Any solution will involve a give and take on the part of all the stakeholders. The Government of India cannot be expected to backtrack on a stand it has already announced in public but at the same time it is in no position to impose its will on a major State in a federal setup by riding roughshod over public opinion. There won’t be any winners or losers in democracy. A win-win formula that takes into account the views of all stakeholders in all the regions has to be worked out”.

Dr. JP repeated his contention that the formation of a separate State would neither be a calamity not a panacea to people’s problems.

In reply to a question, Dr. JP said he would term physical attacks on opponents as uncivilized and beastly. In reply to another, he said he had gone to Delhi on his own as a citizen concerned about the raging regional fires in Andhra Pradesh. Resignations by legislators were unwarranted since they are expected to utilize the forums available to them to resolve issues and not to abdicate their constitutional responsibilities.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dr. JP on Delhi mission To defuse AP crisis (Telugu)

Dr. JP on Delhi mission To defuse AP crisis

The Lok Satta Party today refuted reports in a section of the media that its President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan had called on BJP leader L. K. Advani at the suggestion of Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi.

Talking to the media, party leaders Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao, Mr. Beesetti A. Babji, Mrs.K. Geetamurti, clarified that Dr. JP had sought an appointment with Mr. Advani long before he met Mrs. Gandhi and called on him as scheduled.

The leaders pointed out that Dr. JP is on a mission to Delhi to help resolve the current political crisis in Andhra Pradesh.

In his meetings with national leaders, Dr. JP has been underlining the need for cooling down the inflamed passions in both the Telangana and Andhra regions of the State. The Government of India made a clear policy statement on December 9 based on its judgment of the prevailing situation and the clear impression given by political parties in Andhra Pradesh that they would support formation of a separate Telangana State.

“Dr. JP is making the point that a solemn assurance of the Government of India should not be taken lightly, and cannot be violated at will. The credibility of the Government of India is critical to nation building and cannot be frittered away for political expediency. Equally, India is a federal, democratic republic and the Government of India cannot impose its will on a major State and ride roughshod over people’s concerns and aspirations. We have a complex situation in which a part of the State wants separation and the rest of the State wants integration. Both demands cannot be accommodated simultaneously. The Government of India has to act with great wisdom, credibility, and foresight. Nothing should be done unilaterally. The people should be given full opportunity to express their opinions on the future of the State. There should be give and take on both sides and a satisfactory settlement, which fulfils aspirations of all people and addresses the concerns of all regions, should be arrived at. There cannot be a knee-jerk and ad hoc approach to the problem. There cannot be winners and losers in a democracy. It has to be a win-win situation for all.”

The Lok Satta leaders underlined that decisions in a democracy have to be taken through constitutional processes. Cynical exploitation of people’s emotions for short-term political gain would cause disaster to our republic. India is a mature democracy and behave like a mature democracy and not like Ruwanda in which ethnic conflicts claimed 800000 lives. “Problems are challenging but not intractable. With goodwill we can find a way out.”

Pending the finding of a permanent settlement, the Government of India should not sit idle. The Pranab Mukherjee committee on the Telangana issue produced precious little after six years of its constitution while the Rosaiah committee was a non-starter.

Both the Central and State Governments should turn the present the crisis into an opportunity to put an end to centralization of power. For instance, regional committees of legislators with full autonomy and powers to enforce existing arrangements like the six-point formula could be formed. The Government of India should come up with a package to address backwardness in different regions of the State.

People should realize that whether the State is divided or not all of us live in the same territory and speak the same language and have to coexist with mutual respect. The Lok Satta won’t compromise on the interest of any region and will fight to ensure justice to everybody.

The Lok Satta leaders called upon the youth and students not to waste their time on emotional outbursts but work together to change the nature of politics in Andhra Pradesh. Thanks to the chicanery, unbridled corruption and cynicism of major political parties millions of people have been leading miserable lives for decades. The Telangana problem has exposed the cynical flip-flops of major political parties.

“It is time that all likeminded persons who care deeply for the country, no matter in which party they happen to be, forged a new political force and transformed the State and the country.”

Prajamoda Parishkaram

Courtesy: Eenadu

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dr. JP sad over adjournment (Telugu)

Dr. JP sad over adjournment

Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, Lok Satta Party President and MLA, today expressed his sadness that the Assembly had to be adjourned since it could not function normally.

He once again appealed to legislators to reconsider their resignations considering that the House is sovereign and that no decision can be taken without its consent. The legislature provides them a forum to undertake a healthy dialogue on any contentious issue.

In a statement, Dr. JP said the withdrawal of resignations by legislators would help cool down political temperatures, contain passions, and facilitate a dialogue on Telangana and related issues.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Delhi should take the lead to douse Passions in AP: Dr. JP (Telugu)

Delhi should take the lead to douse Passions in AP: Dr. JP

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said the need of the hour in Andhra Pradesh today is the dousing of flames of passion and restoring sanity to people fighting for the formation of a separate Telangana State and those opposing it in favor of an integrated State.

Addressing the annual conference of the party’s General Council and the media later, Dr. JP recalled the present unrest was triggered by Union Home Minister Chidamabaram’s December 9 announcement that the Government of India had initiated the process for the formation of a Telangana State. To restore peace in the State, the Government of India should immediately announce that it would not impose any solution of its own on the people of Andhra Pradesh to the festering Telangana problem and any solution would be arrived at only after consultations with and consensus among all the stakeholders.

Dr. JP said that legislators who had tendered their resignations protesting the Delhi announcement or their party’s insincere stand should withdraw them forthwith. Resignations amounted to abdication of their Constitutional responsibility as elected members. “This is not the time to succumb to passion. Leadership lies in staying above the fray, and resolving the crisis collectively.”

Dr. JP said that pending a final settlement to the Telangana issue, interim institutional arrangements should be made to address the aspirations of the Telangana region and the grievances of people in all backward regions in the State in a time-bound manner. Regional imbalances had raised their ugly head because local governments had been deprived of powers and resources.

The Lok Satta Party President recalled that the party is committed to transcending caste and religion, region and language and protecting the interests of all. “There is no place in the party for those who are swept off by momentary and petty considerations”, he said and asked the party’s Disciplinary Committee to deal firmly with those who stray from the party’s fundamental principless.

In response to a question, he said that Lok Satta Party members would not join any Joint Committees of Action formed or being formed in different regions of the State. The parties forming the committees were not committed to following or practicing any principles, and are merely acting as weather-wanes.

He made it clear that the Lok Satta is not opposed to the formation of Telangana if it is accomplished through constitutional means and in accordance with a consensus built among all the regions of the State. Similarly, the party is not opposed to keeping the State intact if the genuine aspirations of people in Telangana are addressed satisfactorily. He underlined the need once again for arriving at a consensus on the status of Hyderabad since the feelings of people in the entire State are intertwined with the capital for the last five decades.

“Above all people of all regions of the State should be disabused of the notion that creation of a separate State is a disaster or that a separate State is a panacea that will solve all problems.”

Dr. JP pointed out that that it is the innocent youth and poor who are falling prey to police baton charges and not the sons or daughters of politicians or bureaucrats. He wanted the youth all over the State to abjure violence and vandalism. Without being swayed by momentary passions, they should express their views peacefully. The recent political developments had caught all traditional parties pants down since their private views differed violently with their public protestations. The traditional parties had exploited the Telangana issue for vote bank politics without addressing their basic problems like empowerment, justice, quality healthcare and education and skill enhancement and livelihood opportunities.

He repeatedly appealed to people to realize that the formation of a Telangana State is going to be neither a cataclysmic event for Andhra Pradesh nor a panacea for Telangana problems. “When you are carried away by primordial loyalties and emotional frenzy, everything appears to be a life and death issue.”

Calling upon people of different regions to shed their hatred against people of other regions, Dr. JP said that in the end people had to live together. “After all, you may change your friends but cannot change geography.”

The party’s General Council decided to form a student wing called Vidyarthi Satta and adopted amendments to the Constitution providing for executive and other types of members and cooption of women, SCs, STs and BCs and youth if they could not be elected in sufficient numbers reserved for them.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Nineteenth Century Politics Over Telangana

The casual and arbitrary approach of the Union Government, short-term vote-bank politics of parties and shameless political duplicity have led to a wholly avoidable crisis over Telangana, says JAYAPRAKASH NARAYAN.

Suddenly, the State of Andhra Pradesh and the whole nation are in turmoil. The tranquil climate, so vital for economic prosperity at a time of tough global challenges and great opportunities, has been vitiated by the pursuit of vote-banks and the arousing of primordial loyalties.

Politicians playing with fire have now opened the Pandora's Box and have sown the seeds of discord in many pockets of India. A dangerous message has gone out: Elections, constitutional process, reasoned and healthy public discourse are not important; indulge in rabble-rousing, promote violence and obstruction, and the government will yield.

To understand the tumult in Andhra Pradesh now, one should imagine what would happen in Tamil Nadu if a new state of North Tamil Nadu, along with Chennai, is carved out; or the consternation in Karnataka if South Karnataka with Bengaluru is carved out as a separate State.

For the first time, a region with a large capital city wants to separate as a State. So far, every demand for a new State has been from far-flung areas away from the State capital. Hyderabad is not just another city. It is on par with Chennai and Bengaluru, and with 85 lakh people, accounts for over 25 per cent of the population of Telangana and 60 per cent of the economy of the region. Millions from all over the country and the various regions of AP have made it their home.

Every significant political, business or civil society leader has made Hyderabad home, and is emotionally attached to the city, even if the political base may be elsewhere. In such a situation, the all-too-casual approach to separate Statehood is calamitous.

Firm stand

The Indian nation is still in the making. Indira Gandhi was both powerful and, on occasion, autocratic. But even when her party had monopoly of power, she understood the fragility of the nation and worked hard to find a compromise on demands for Statehood.

Two major agitations for separate Statehood shook Andhra Pradesh — in Telangana in 1969, and in the Andhra region in 1973. Indira Gandhi had complete political sway over the whole State without any challenge, and yet she recognised and stated that if each group of districts, or sub-region, wants separate Statehood, eventually every district would become a State and the nation would be ungovernable. At that time, the population of Hyderabad was 10 lakh.

Once the Congress government in Delhi amended the Constitution (32nd Amendment), inserted Article 371-D, and hammered out a six-point formula to protect the interests of Telangana, there was peace and quiet for over 30 years. Hyderabad grew very rapidly and became a major economic hub. And now, again, the casual and arbitrary approach of the union government, short-term vote bank politics of parties and shameless political duplicity have led to a wholly avoidable crisis, that has further undermined the eroding legitimacy of politics and parties.

Losing resources

There are serious economic issues to be examined on the issue of carving out a separate State in Andhra Pradesh. First, the capital city is a serious bone of contention, and once people and investors lose faith in the future, it will decline rapidly.

This will hurt both Andhra Pradesh and India, because large cities are now important clusters of growth, and if a Mumbai or Delhi faces economic hardship, the whole nation will be impacted by the fallout.

Second, parts of the coastal region are agriculturally well-developed and have resources and surpluses. For instance, the coastal region generates surplus revenues in the power sector, and is subsidising power for farmers in Telangana and Rayalaseema. A separate State will be burdened by an unviable power sector.

Costal regions are always engines of growth all over the world. Telangana is land-locked, and losing the costal region would retard growth and opportunities. Again, this is the first time a land-locked region is seeking to separate from the coastal belt. When passions subside, the pain and deprivation will be felt.

Water resources are always a bone of contention in a monsoon-fed country. Even in a relatively well-managed city of Mumbai, enjoying abundant rainfall on the West coast, water riots took a life recently. In a water-starved region, river water disputes will escalate, and sharing of Krishna and Godavari waters will be a nightmare.

In the K-G basin off the Andhra coast, abundant natural gas reserves have recently been found, and are being tapped. Already, there is the challenge of sharing natural resources between the home State and the rest of India, and now Telangana will be further depleted.

Large, unviable lift irrigation projects — at a capital cost of Rs 3-4 lakh per acre and Rs 40,000 per year per acre maintenance cost — have been unwisely proposed in Telangana. They will be a permanent drain on the economy of the region, undermining it without ensuring benefits.

Politics of inclusion

Poverty, backwardness, corruption, lack of opportunity and unemployment are endemic to many of the country's States and sub-regions. These are caused by failed policies, misgovernance and the politics of plunder, leading to kleptocracy.

Large parts of Telangana and Rayalaseema, most of north coastal Andhra Pradesh, upland areas of delta districts, and many families suffering discrimination by birth in every village — all of them are victims of terrible misgovernance and political failure.

The perpetuation of poverty and under-development is largely the result of the plunder of local politicians and bureaucrats. A change of the State's name or boundaries or capital will not alter anything.

The need of the hour is to accelerate growth and promote equity and opportunities. What every sub-region of Andhra Pradesh, indeed every part of India, needs is empowerment of people, district governments and third-tier of federalism to help people fulfil their potential.

We cannot use 19th century notions of divisive politics in a 21th century world.

Source: Hindu Business Line

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Heed your conscience, Dr. JP Tells legislators

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said today that Andhra Pradesh legislators have now to decide whether they would act like slaves of their parties or as per the dictates of their conscience in the interests of the people of the State and the country.

Commenting on the spate of resignations by legislators cutting across parties, regions and castes protesting against the Delhi decision to initiate the Telangana State formation process, Dr. JP said the resignations highlighted that the parties had been gambling with the lives of people by saying one thing in public and believing in another.

Talking to media persons who called on him, Dr. JP ridiculed Chief Minister K. Rosaiah and Opposition leader N. Chandrababu Naidu for attempting to wriggle out of the positions they had taken less than 24 hours ago. The Chief Minister would now say that after all a resolution had to be passed in the Assembly while the Opposition leader maintained that he was under the impression that a resolution would not come up for debate without widespread consultations.

Dr. JP said that all parties had been plunged into a serious crisis because all of them had been indulging in a game of bluff by feigning support to the Telanagana cause in public and opposing it in their heart of hearts. Delhi had called their bluff by pinning them down to their protestations while legislators called the bluff of their party leadership by resigning from seats which they had won after spending a fortune hardly six months ago.

“Now that the ball is in the court of the legislature, the legislators will have to decide whether they should remain chained to their parties or unshackle themselves and vote according to their conscience on the proposed resolution on Telangana.”

Dr. JP said that the Government of India had set a very dangerous precedent by succumbing to violence and arson on the Telanagana issue. The Constitution provided for peaceful and democratic resolution of problems. Instead of sticking to the constitutional path, the Government of India acted like the monarchs of the past by issuing a fiat around midnight when the entire country was asleep. It had not bothered to take the opinion of elected MPs, MLAs and people into confidence. The specter of the decision on Telanagana would haunt Governments both at the Center and in States for a long time to come.

Dr. JP appealed to the people to realize that political parties had taken them for a ride all along. The people viewed the elections as a spectator sport without appreciating the parties were fiercely fighting with each other on who should have the right to gobble up the humble lamb, the voter, first. The voters should understand that they do not exist for parties but that parties exist for them. Traditional parties have so far succeeded in rousing their primordial loyalties to religion, caste, language and region to serve their narrow goal of coming to power and using them as pawns in their game.

Dr. JP appealed to people of all regions, especially the youth and students, to be restrained and to promote a peaceful and healthy debate. “We should reject politics of hate. We should all together find an amicable and honest solution to fulfill the needs and aspirations of all people. Giving power to people in each district, city, town and village has to be a central feature of re-creating our republic. ‘Malice towards none and charity to all’ should be our motto, and we should strive to give every child an opportunity to fulfill its potential irrespective of the accident of birth.”

The political crisis should be utilized by people to bring about a transformation in the nature of politics. Politics should be a means to provide them quality education, healthcare and skill enhancement and livelihood opportunities and not a means for parties to ride roughshod over them.

Dr. JP said the crisis had bared the opportunistic and bankrupt policies of all traditional parties. The people should draw a lesson and join hands to transform the very nature of politics.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lok Satta Observing Anti Corruption Day (Telugu)

Lok Satta Observing Anti Corruption Day

The Lok Satta Party is observing World Anti Corruption Day on December 9 by conducting rallies, distributing pamphlets and organizing elocution and writing competitions in colleges on the corruption menace. The party will be distributing stickers carrying the message “I am for corruption-free India.’

This information was given to the media by party spokespersons Mrs. K. Geetha Murthy and Mr. V. Laxman Balaji here today.

It may be recalled that the Lok Satta has prepared a draft Bill to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act to plug the loopholes in the present Act. The Bill envisages bringing of elected people’s representatives also under the purview of the Act, creation of independent investigation and prosecution agencies and seizure of properties of those proved guilty.

Dr. JP calls for united efforts To defuse T crisis

The need of the hour before all parties is to defuse the crisis in Telangana without compromising the health and self-respect of TRS President K. Chandrasekhara Rao, said Lok Satta President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan here last night.

Talking to the media after calling on fasting KCR and talking to his son, daughter, and nephew at NIMS, Dr. JP said the Telangana issue had assumed serious proportion because the traditional parties had all along viewed it as a law and order problem or an expedient for getting votes instead of genuinely addressing the grievances of Telangana people. The parties that ruled the State had failed in providing quality education and health care and skill enhancement and livelihood opportunities.

Dr. JP called upon political parties to work for the development of all backward regions without fanning hatred among them. Asked to shout the ‘Jai Telangana’ slogan, Dr. JP said he would say, “Jai Telangana, Jai Coastal Andhra, Jai Rayalaseema, Jai Karnataka and Jai Maharashtra’ since he believed in the development of all regions in the country. The development of one region need not be at the expense of the other, he added.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dr. JP taking part in CEO Roundtable (Telugu)

Dr. JP taking part in CEO Roundtable

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan is attending a three-day Chief Executive Officers’ Roundtable at Kovalam in Kerala from December 4 to 6. The 13th annual event, being organized by International Market Assessment India, is attended by more than 100 CEOs of diverse businesses in India.

In his key address on December 5, Dr. JP will be focusing on how deep the malaise of corruption and lack of public accountability is, whether there are any islands of hope and excellence in the governance system, why the system suffers from lack of accountability and how the status quo can be changed.

The participants include founders/chairpersons/managing directors/chief executive officers of a number of Indian companies.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dr. JP staying away from Mayor’s election (Telugu)

Dr. JP staying away from Mayor’s election

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan is not taking part in the election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation on Decenber 4.

Party leaders V. Laxman Balaji, G. Raja Reddy and Prathap Reddy told the media today that the decision flows from the Lok Satta’s principled opposition to the provision of voting rights to ex-officio members in the GHMC. The party had already questioned the provision in the Andhra Pradesh High Court and its verdict is awaited.

The High Court, which did not stay the election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor, had directed that elected members and ex-officio members cast their votes in separate ballot boxes.

Dr. JP is an ex-officio member of the GHMC by virtue of his being an elected member of the Legislative Assembly from Kukatpally constituency in Greater Hyderabad.

The Lok Satta leaders said that by providing voting rights to ex-officio members, the Government sought to undo people’s verdict and undermine democracy.

The leaders recalled that the Government had held elections to the civic body in Hyderabad only four times in the last 45 years (1960, 1986, 2002 and 2009) and that too following courts’ intervention. “Nothing exemplifies the disinclination of successive State Governments to transfer powers to local bodies better than the irregular elections to the Hyderabad municipal corporation.”

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pawar’s optimism on cane price Misplaced: Lok Satta (Telugu)

Pawar’s optimism on cane price Misplaced: Lok Satta

Had State and Central Governments ensued a remunerative price for sugarcane, the country could have avoided import of costly sugar now, pointed out the Lok Satta Party here today.

Commenting on Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar’s claim that sugarcane farmers would get up to Rs.2200 per ton this year, party leaders V. Laxman Balaji, E. Chennayya and P. Jagannadha Naidu said Mr. Pawar’s optimism is not borne out by ground realities. A number of factories in Andhra Pradesh even to this day are not ready to pay even Rs.2000 a ton of sugarcane.

The Lok Satta leaders recalled that the factories paid only up to Rs.1500 last year and only Rs.1000 a year earlier per ton. The cost of cultivation has gone up to Rs.2200 per acre owing to higher input costs and labor charges.

The Lok Satta leaders faulted both the Central and State Governments for making farmers’ lives miserable and driving them to end their lives since 1996.

In Andhra Pradesh, 82 percent of farmers continue to be steeped in debt, despite loan waiver amounting to Rs.13,000 crore. Agriculture has recorded a measly 0.10 percent growth despite free power supply to the agriculture sector and enormous expenditure under ‘jalayagnam’ to bring huge tracts under irrigation.

The Lok Satta Party demanded the creation of 10,000 agri clinics to supply inputs and extend technical assistance, provision of credit to farmers and tenants, establishment of industries that add value to agricultural produce and better marketing facilities to make agriculture remunerative.

Dr.JP's Activities in Kukatpally (English)

Inside Andhra Pradesh Assembly:

1. Proposed the bill to amend anti corruption bill to include elected members under civil servants.
2. Advanced all party resolution to elect deputy speaker from opposition.
3. Opposed amendment to Andhra Pradesh societies act claiming it is against right to form the unions in the constitution. Won case in High court, and it is ongoing in Supreme Court.
4. Opposed the bill to allocating special quota for Christians in Dalit reservations and proposed to allocate under BC quota.
5. Opposed populist schemes in 2009 Budget.

Bills in Early Planning:

1. Alternative proposal to women reservations bill to give better and fair representation to women.
2. Voting rights to non resident Indians.

Accomplished in Kukatpally:

1. The construction of the under rail bridge in Safdarnagar, which has been neglected for several months has been completed.
2. Organized free medical clinics in the constituency to diagnose eye and thyroid problems among people to provide better medical facilities. Organized a free medical camp in Balanagar colony with the help of expert doctors and distributed free medicines.
3. Installed 20 bore wells in the water deprived areas of the Constituency.
4. 95% of the pipeline construction from Vasantnagar to Bhagat Singh nagar, to regulate drainage problems in the rainy season, has been completed.
5. Booster pumps in Satyanarayana Swamy colony, Parvatnagar, Motinagar divisions to complement the irregular drinking water-supply that has been there for several years.
6. Street lighting between Vasanth Nagar/Satyanarayana Colony and highway.
7. Tour the Constituency every Saturday to get a first hand look at people’s problems in constituency. Meets the people face-to-face at IMAX Gardens, Road No. 4 to listen to people problems. So far, met people more than 40 times.
8. Took 99 samples of drinking water and showed to the water-board authorities, that the chlorine levels are not appropriate and directed them to take actions.

Projects under progress related to kukatpally:

1. Underground drainage system: Works worth Rs. 4.4 crore have been started in 11 colonies/bastis. This helps nearly 2 lakh people, and prevents the mixing of sewage and water supply. Will be completed by Dec 31, 2009.
2. 300 mm pipeline construction in Moosapet division for Manjeera water supply. Another 400 mm pipeline construction to make use of the neglected overhead tank.
3. New roads in phase 9 of Kukatpally Housing Board.
4. Resume the swimming pool and indoor stadium works on Kukatpally phase 6.
5. Road expansion works in Kukatpally phase 1.
6. Establishment of Citizen Help Centers to help Citizens in Government and Municipality works.
7. Kukatpally circle receives only 9 mgd water (5% of the city) even though it has 56000 water connections (10% of the city). Arrangements have been proposed to supply atleast 16 mgd water.

Proposed projects and pending approval:

1. To construct four foot-over bridges for pedestrians at JNTU, Balanagar, Kukatpally, Moosapet areas.
2. To move HUDA truck park from Kukatpally to Miapur and construct an auditorium for cultural and entertainment programs and a commercial center in its place.
3. Sulabh complexes in densely populated places.
4. The messy drinking water-supply situation in Kukatpally has been reformed to a certain extent. Proposals have been sent for full-fledged reformation.
5. To construct 6 sewerage treatment plants near ponds/lakes and to fence the ponds/lakes to prevent illegal occupation.
6. Fence the existing tanks and wells to avoid land grabbing.
7. To build service roads from Moosapet Y-Junction to Miyapur to reduce traffic on NH 9.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dr. JP extends support to corporators (Telugu)

HC verdict, a partial victory: Lok Satta (Telugu)

Dr. JP extends support to corporators

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, representing Kukatpally constituency in the Legislative Assembly, has congratulated all the seven corporators who were elected to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and pledged his support to all of them as a legislator in getting their ward problems resolved.

In a letter addressed to the corporators in his constituency, Dr. JP said that the Lok Satta Party has always stood for strengthening local governments and people’s empowerment. “Political parties are mere platforms for making people partners in the political process. All of us should strive together to uphold constitutional values and provide long-term solutions to people’s problems.”

Dr. JP hoped that the corporators would earn people’s respect and admiration by discharging their duties adhering to highest public standards. Transcending political affiliations, he would extend cooperation and support to all of them in resolving problems in their ward.

Dr. JP addressed the letter to corporators T. Maheswari (Begumpet), P. Baburao (Moosapet), D. Sobhanadri (KPHB Colony), G. Vengal Rao (Kukatpally), M. Narsimha Yadav (Old Bowenpally), M. Krishna Goud (Fathenagar) and Syed Hussain (Motinagar).

HC verdict, a partial victory: Lok Satta

The Lok Satta described the interim High Court order on its petition questioning voting rights for ex-officio members in the GHMC elections as a partial victory for its stand.

Although the High Court did not stay the election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor, it directed that directly elected ward members and ex-officio members cast their votes in separate ballot boxes during the Mayoral election.

Talking to the media, party leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao, V. Laxman Balaji and G. Raja Reddy said that the party would approach the Supreme Court if the High Court verdict against it.

The Lok Satta leaders disclosed that the party was still on the look out for a suitable candidate to contest in the by-election from the Pulivendula Assembly constituency in accordance with its principled stand against dynastic politics. Mrs. Vijayalakshmi had filed her nomination as the Congress candidate in the seat which fell vacant following the death of her husband, Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

Pointing out that the party was looking for a competent candidate with leadership qualities, the Lok Satta leaders said they had not fielded a candidate in the 2009 elections too from Pulivendula as it could not locate a suitable candidate.

Monday, November 30, 2009

KCR showed great sagacity and Wisdom in breaking his fast: Dr.JP (Telugu)

KCR showed great sagacity and Wisdom in breaking his fast: Dr.JP

The Lok Satta Party expresses great relief over withdrawal of the indefinite fast by the TRS leader Sri. K. Chandrasekhara Rao. Lok Satta Party president Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said that KCR showed great sagacity and wisdom in breaking his fast. He said his life and good health are precious for the stage.

Now the government at Union and State level should immediately address the legitimate problems of backwardness in Telangana and other regions, said JP. Honest and effective implementation of G.O. 610, constitution of an empowered state Planning Board, a comprehensive package for Telangana and all other backward regions, strong measure to ensure education and employment to all youth, and empowerment of local governments as district level and below must be integral to any meaningful effort to solve the problem.

The Lok Satta appealed to all students, youth, political parties and civil society organizations to exercise restraint and ventilate their views in a peaceful and democratic manner and to help restore peace and normalcy.

Traditional parties allowed Telangana issue to fester- Dr. JP (Telugu)

Traditional parties allowed Telangana issue to fester- Dr. JP

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today squarely blamed the traditional parties for the violence raging in the name of Telanagana today. They had allowed the issue of regional imbalances to fester for four decades without making any sincere and honest attempt to address it.

Addressing the media, Dr. JP recalled that the Telangana issue had come to the fore once again for the last seven years. Yet, both the TDP and Congress Governments in the State and the NDA and the UPA Governments at the Center had not made any attempt to resolve the regional imbalances issue.

Dr. JP expressed regret that the traditional parties sought to exploit regional feelings for vote bank politics or to prove their existence by resorting to vandalism. Had they been interested in addressing the issue of regional imbalances, they would have constituted the State Planning Board as part of the Six-Point Plan and sincerely implemented G. O. No. 610.

He demanded that all parties try to resolve the Telangana issue once and for all, instead of viewing it as a law and order problem. He wanted the State Government to immediately initiate talks with the Telangana agitators and the Government of India to announce a development package for Telangana and other backward regions in the State.

Dr. JP appealed to the TRS to carry on its agitation in accordance with the Constitution, without resorting to violence. “Let us all fight together to end regional disparities”, Dr. JP said.

Replying to a question on the propriety of the Government arresting TRS President K. Chandrasekhara Rao who planned to go on a fast unto death, Dr. JP said the Government would attract flak whatever it did after allowing the situation to come to such a pass. He recalled that failure to prevent kar sevaks from congregating at the Babri Masjid led to the chain of events that resulted in the destruction of the mosque and subsequent communal riots.

Mr. V. Laxman Balaji, Mrs. K. Geetha Murthy and Mr. E. Chennayya shared the dais with Dr. JP.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lok Satta debating ways of saving People from manipulation (Telugu)

Lok Satta demands bidding for Telecom licenses (Telugu)

Lok Satta debating ways of saving People from manipulation

The three-year-old Lok Satta Party is now deeply immersed in finding out how people should be involved in transformational politics.

The Lok Satta Party came into existence three years ago with a view to cleansing the political system which has failed to eliminate poverty, destitution and ill health and make people stand on their own legs. Over the years, politics has been turned into a lucrative business by certain dynastic families or individuals. They succeed in wooing voters with money and liquor or other inducements, come into power only to abuse it for personal gain.

Although large sections of people are aware that the present-day politics are rotten, they do not come forward to transform the system, going by Lok Satta experience. Viewing the elections as a fight among certain parties or politicians, the voters by and large remain indifferent or play only a peripheral role of casting their vote on the polling day.

What is tragic is that people do not realize that they are the main players in the democratic process and not parties and politicians. Instead of playing the central role since they are the prime agents of change, they become pawns in the hands of traditional parties either wittingly or unwittingly.

Pointing out that unless people take matters into their hand and choose to act, the status quo can never be changed, the Lok Satta leaders Mr.YD Rama Rao, V.Laxman Balaji, Panduranga Rao, Mrs. Saroja Devi told media today. They recalled what Abraham Lincoln said more than a century ago, “Public opinion or sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.”

The Lok Satta leaders point out that perhaps people by and large are vulnerable to manipulation because of their innocence and gullibility since times immemorial. Otherwise, would Jesus Christ have been crucified? When Jesus was arrested and threatened with execution for blasphemy, his captors led by Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor, offered to spare him if enough people called for his release. On that day, Jesus and another prisoner, Barrabas, were due to be killed. Pilate’s wife asked him to spare Jesus, who was innocent. But the religious elders and priests, who hated Jesus because he undermined their authority, persuaded the mass of people to call for Barrabas to be spared instead. When the crowd was asked what should be done with Jesus, they shouted, “Crucify him.” Pilate believed the execution of Jesus was wrong. Since it was the will of the people, he publicly washed his hands to show that he took no responsibility.

Again, there are people of talent, integrity and competence in all walks of life who thirst for dramatic changes in the political system. But they remain dreamers on the sidelines, since they are not inclined to take any responsibility to change the system by devoting a portion of their time, energy and resources.

The Lok Satta leaders say they are not disheartened by the poor performance in the GHMC elections since victory in an election is merely a means to transform politics and not en end in itself.

The Lok Satta even to this day subscribes to the philosophy that the country can be rid of poverty, destitution and ill health only if new politics are ushered in and people are empowered. The Lok Satta has never nurtured the illusion that it alone can transform politics. It, therefore, is now debating how best it can associate common people and the elite on the sidelines with its mission.

Lok Satta demands bidding for Telecom licenses

The Lok Satta Party today welcomed the Delhi High Court judgment declaring the allocation of 2G licenses as illegal arbitrary and said the Government of India should seize the opportunity to cancel all the licenses already issued and issue fresh licenses on the basis of international competitive bidding.

The Telecom Department had initially invited applications for allocation of licenses and spectrum up to October 1, 2007. But on January 10, 2008 it declared that applications received up to September 25 would be eligible for licenses. The advancement of the date benefited eight companies. Of them, two companies – Unitech Wireless and Swan Telecom – who were awarded licenses sold them at huge valuations.

The arbitrary advancement of date left the applications of 16 companies, including that of AT&T of the U. S. in limbo. One of the aggrieved companies approached the Delhi High Court. A Division Bench of the Delhi High Court has now upheld the judgment delivered by a single judge earlier.

Talking to the media, party spokespersons Mr.YD Rama Rao, V.Laxman Balaji, Panduranga Rao, Mrs. Saroja Devi recalled that the Government of India had already instituted a CBI inquiry into the allocation of 2G licenses following charges that the Government been defrauded of huge revenue because of arbitrary allocation.

“Whether it is grant of the telecom spectrum or leases for natural resources like iron ore, bauxite and coal, only international competitive bidding will eliminate scope for favoritism and corruption and ensure that the exchequer does not suffer avoidable revenue loss. The first-come-first-served policy lends itself to be grossly abused.”

The Lok Satta President, Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, will be shortly writing to the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, and floor leaders of all parties in both Houses of Parliament seeking the formulation of a comprehensive policy on grant of licenses for telecom spectrum or mining of natural resources so that the scope of private gain and windfall profits is eliminated and the Governments both at the Center and in States do not suffer any revenue losses.