Saturday, November 21, 2009

Why candidates spend up to Rs.2 crore In GHMC elections, Dr. JP explains

Why are the Congress and the TDP candidates spending up to Rs. two crore each to get elected as a corporator in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation?

Posing this question, Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today pointed out that a corporator who gets a monthly salary of Rs.3000 will have to toil for 600 years merely to recoup the investment in elections, without taking the cost of interest into account.

Addressing election meetings in Malakpet area, Dr. JP said that the traditional party contestants are not fools to throw away precious money down the Musi merely to get elected as corporators. They are looking forward to making many times their investment in the business of politics through umpteen ways ranging from collecting commissions from contractors and land grabbers to facilitating land dispute settlements and postings and transfers of officials.

“The two political wolves are fighting for the right to eat the humble lamb, the voter.

“Make no mistake; the two parties would not even think of transferring resources and powers to local governments as envisaged by Article 243 of the Constitution. In pursuance of the Constitutional provision, the Government of India inserted a conditionality for making available funds under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The condition is that the State Governments should empower local Governments by transferring resources and responsibilities to be eligible for funds under the JNNURM. Although the State Government adopted a law as early as in 2008 to empower local governments, it had not implemented it since it would deprive the rulers of the advantages of centralized power. Which politician in the State would like to forgo the opportunity of making money by empowering local governments? It would be tantamount to committing hara-kiri.

The Lok Satta President said there are two kinds of politics in vogue today. The traditional parties believe in luring voters with money, liquor and biryani or by offering short-term inducements like television sets and cash transfers or make political mileage by dividing them on the basis of religion and caste, language and region. They don’t believe in empowering people with provision of quality healthcare and education and opportunities for livelihood.

In contrast to them, the Lok Satta believes in the innate wisdom of the voters who are self-respecting and love their children and families. The party believes if power is given to them they will transform society.

Dr. JP said, “There is no magic wand which can transform society and improve people’s lives. Even if Mahatma Gandhi were to be reborn, he too would fail unless people are empowered as envisaged by him decades ago.”

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