Monday, January 12, 2009

It is a fight for country's future: Dr. JP on elections

The question is not one of winning or losing a few seats in the coming elections; it is about changing the very trajectory of Indian politics and creating history, Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said here today.

Addressing a meeting of the party’s State Working Committee and the newly elected district presidents, Dr. JP said that the Lok Satta which is the only force pursuing moral politics cannot jettison its principles and enter into unholy alliances for short-term electoral gains.

Dr. JP graphically depicted how all the traditional parties are getting ready to spend unprecedented amounts of money to get elected somehow or the other in the coming general elections in Andhra Pradesh. The shape of things to come could be visualized from the fortunes spent in the recent ZPTC and MPTC by-elections in Andhra Pradesh and general elections in Karnataka..

Dr. JP said that the Andhra Pradesh Government is expected to spend a total of Rs.600,000 crore in the next five years . If we assume that three crore of people will exercise their franchise, the amount the Government plans to spend works out to Rs.200,000 per voter over five years. This Rs.200,000 is the value of each vote cast in Andhra Pradesh. It is to lord over the amount and siphon it that the political parties are leaving no stone unturned to get into office by hook or crook.

The Lok Satta cannot, therefore, blur the greater picture of the stakes involved and enter into opportunistic electoral alliances. The Lok Satta is not opposed to alliances per se but an alliance without agreement on certain fundamental issues like putting an end to the use of money and liquor to induce voters and the practice of fielding criminal elements as candidates will not serve the national cause.

The colossal fraud in Satyam Computers has become the talk of the town all over the country. But unfortunately people have not focused their attention on the bigger fraud political parties are committing by raising and spending colossal amounts of black money to fight elections. The Lok Satta is, therefore, concerned about fighting such political culture. Unless other parties are prepared to join hands in the historic fight against such corruption-ridden politics, the Lok Satta cannot countenance an alliance.

“History will judge us not merely by short-term gains, but by the change in the nature of politics we bring about in India. The political failure of established parties will lead to disaster for the nation. Unless the second freedom struggle is won by the people,p there is a danger of anarchy and disintegration thanks to the ‘me-first’, ‘after-me-the-deluge’ and ‘get-rich-quick’ politics practiced today.

The Lok Satta, he said, has become the lone torch-bearer of new politics in the country. Some of the prominent people of Mumbai are ready to fight on behalf of the party in the coming elections. The fight is not confined to Andhra Pradesh.

The Working Committee constituted a committee to constantly review the developing political situation and take appropriate decisions.

Dr. JP announced that the Lok Satta will be declaring ‘district governments’ at public meetings in all the 23 district headquarters of the State on January 23, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose.

On that day, district Cabinets comprising prominent citizens who are knowledgeable and experienced in different walks of life will be announced, the district flag unfurled, a booklet on district governments released and a film on district Governments screened.

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