Friday, November 20, 2009

Bad leaders are elected by good people who do not vote

Vote against vulgar politicians, Appeals Dr. JP

“If we stay away from voting in the ensuing GHMC elections and do not elect right candidates, we will have to continue to live with unsafe drinking water and overflowing drains, manholes without covers and overstuffed garbage dumps, and pot-holed roads and unending traffic jams,” warned Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan here today. “Mosquitoes, dogs and pigs will continue to have a field day. Being great levelers by nature, they do not distinguish between the poor and the rich, the educated and the uneducated.”

Addressing a media conference, Dr. JP pointed out that the revulsion for politics among the educated, middle classes, youth and women has attracted the cynical and vulgar marauders, land grabbers and looters unfit for public life to monopolize politics. “Bad leaders are elected by good people who do not vote for change.”

“It is time we acted in concert transcending caste and religion, region and language took charge of politics to prevent the decay of our city, decline in our economy and breakdown in public order. That is possible only when the educated, middle classes, youth, women shed their aversion for politics and exercise their franchise.”

Dr. JP added, “There are no silver-bullet solutions to people’s problems. They can be resolved only when we ruthlessly eliminate corruption, bring the myriad agencies concerned with civic life under one umbrella and empower people with resources and responsibilities.”

Dr. JP pointed out that as per the GHMC Act, even the Mayor’s post is ornamental since the Government has not parted with any real powers. Still, traditional party candidates are vying with each other to spend up to Rs.2 crore to get elected to the GHMC, although their parties have not uttered a single word on empowering the GHMC with powers and resources. The traditional party candidates hope to mint money at public expense once elected and hence the competition among them.

“The Lok Satta is the only party which has the determination and commitment to entrust people-elected committees with powers and resources to redress people’s grievances without making them run from pillar to post. The party will ensure that every ward in the GHMC receives a per capita grant of Rs.1000 so that the ward committee does not have any constraint of funds. The Lok Satta will implement a Citizen’s Charter under which the GHMC will pay a penalty of Rs.100 per day if a complainant’s grievance is not redressed within the specified time limit.”

Dr. JP announced that the Lok Satta, if elected to power in the GHMC, would appoint a person of integrity and competence to ensure that power is not abused by corporators and that swift punishment is meted out to the guilty. It will expel party corporators guilty of moral turpitude.

Dr. JP appealed to voters to judge the Lok Satta Party on the basis of its track record. Lok Satta treats people with respect, and not as purchasable commodities. It always practiced what it preached. It is the only party which accounted for every rupee it collected and spent. It has placed before the voters a practicable agenda which can be implemented. If elected to power, it will transform people’s lives.

The Lok Satta President called upon voters to evaluate the candidates in the race before they cast their vote. Most of Lok Satta Party’s candidates are young and highly educated, who have come up in life on their own. They are not the sons and daughters of politicians or contractors. They have chosen to contest the elections to serve the public and not to make money at public expense. They are all greenhorns with no experience in politicking. Not given to luring voters with money and liquor, their visibility may not match that of traditional party candidates. Since money is not a constraint for traditional party candidates, they are attempting to create an optical illusion of being strong by going round with hired people and musical bands in attendance.

Dr. JP said, “The voters are intelligent enough to separate grain from chaff. They should stage their silent revolt against vulgar politicians by exercising their franchise wisely.”

The Lok Satta President wondered what the Election Commission’s micro observers are doing when the traditional parties are openly splurging money to lure voters.

Mr. G. Raja Reddy, party spokesman, referred to the description of the Lok Satta as a paper party and said, “We concede ours is a paper party, which appeals to voters through the printed word. But ours is not a currency party like theirs.”

Mr. V. Laxman Balaji, Vice President, said that according to a survey conducted by a voluntary agency, only the Lok Satta Party did not field any criminal elements. Mr. Bhisetty Babji, spokesman, announced that party workers would blow whistles at all important centers at 3-30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21 to alert the public on the need to cast their vote.

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