Monday, November 9, 2009

TRS chasing free zone mirage: Lok Satta

The TRS is trying to fan regional animosities by misinterpreting the Supreme Court judgment on the Presidential Order of 1975 and attributing motives to Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan on his stand.

Commenting on TRS MLA Harish Rao’s outburst against Dr. JP, Lok Satta Party spokespersons Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao, Mr. V.Vijayender Reddy, Mrs. Ravala Jhansi Lakshmi told the media that Dr. JP had never described Hyderabad City as a free zone. On the contrary, he had repeatedly clarified that there was no mention of free zone either in the Presidential Order or the Supreme Court judgment upholding it.

The Lok Satta leaders said that the Presidential Order of November 1, 1975 sought to ensure fairness, equity and regional balance in Government jobs. It specifically exempted all the posts in the Secretariat, offices of heads of department, special offices or establishments, State-level offices or institutions, other than non-gazetted posts in major development projects and all posts as defined in the Hyderabad Police Act from zonal criteria for recruitment.

All that the Supreme Court did was to uphold the validity of the Presidential Order, which had been enforced in the State right from 1975 to 2001. The Supreme Court in its latest judgment annulled the High Court verdict which held it as invalid.

“The TRS, having been rebuffed in the 2009 general elections, is trying to make political capital by raising a controversy over the non-existent free zone now.

“Unlike other parties, the Lok Satta is committed to the implementation of the Presidential Order and G. O. No. 610 in both letter and spirit. It has not sought a revision of the Supreme Court judgment since it will be a futile exercise. The Supreme Court reviews a judgment only if it is vitiated by factual errors, which is not the case now.”

The Lok Satta leaders conceded that rural areas in Telangana continue to remain backward, like their counterparts in Rayalaseema and upland areas in Coastal Andhra. “Carving out of a separate State is not necessarily the solution for development of backward regions.”

The Lok Satta has proposed formation of district governments as a solution to tackling backwardness. The State Government should devolve powers, resources and personnel on district governments which are the best judges of local development needs. The party also proposed a per capita grant of Rs.1000 to every ward in both urban and rural areas so that committees elected by people could attend to local problems without knocking at the doors of politicians or bureaucrats.

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