Thursday, June 18, 2009

The fault lies with us, concede Lok Satta contestants

Umpteen are the causes for the poor electoral performance of the Lok Satta Party in the 2009 elections, revealed party candidates who contested the elections in an introspection session at the party headquarters here today. Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan and Vice President D. V. V. S. Varma chaired the session on the second day of the review of the party’s performance.

Party spokespersons V. Vijayender Reddy and Mrs. Ravala Jhansi Lakshmi and Vice President Bhisetty Babji briefed the media on the deliberations.

The participants pointed out that they could not tap the enormous good will the party enjoyed in the form of votes largely because of organizational weakness. The party had a large number of members everywhere but they were not given to taking active part in party programs. The Lok Satta did not emerge as a real contender in the eye of the voter as it did not splurge money and whip up frenzy in its favor like the traditional parties. It could not even constitute an adequate number of booth committees.

The participants revealed that a section of rural voters was not aware of the importance of the vote in transforming their lives and they voted for their largest benefactor in terms of money and liquor. That most candidates were new to politics and elections, that the party would not make any credible promises on redressing local problems and that the candidates had little time to campaign also worked against the party.

The participants suggested plugging of organizational weaknesses by encouraging local leadership and increasing membership, initiation of training programs for active members, mobilization of resources, formation of party wings to represent different sections in society and education of voters.

The contestants opined that although people were fed up with the traditional parties they still voted for them as the Lok Satta had not yet emerged as a viable alternative to them. The Lok Satta could measure up to people’s expectations if it emerged stronger organizationally.

Dr. JP said his confidence in the Lok Satta’s ability to usher in new politics had doubled going by the feedback from contestants. Their determination to make a better showing in all elections in future was heart warming.

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