Monday, December 28, 2009

Don’t be swayed by day’s headlines, Dr. JP counsels party leaders

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today counseled party cadres not to set their agendas going by the day’s newspaper headlines or hourly news bulletins on 24-hour news channels.

Addressing a meeting of party candidates who contested the 2009 Assembly elections and party leaders from districts, Dr. JP said true leadership lies in leading people and not being swayed by momentary passions. A political party should behave like a compass and not as a weather-wane.

The Lok Satta Party, he made it clear, did not view the current agitations for and against Telangana as a fundamental issue. A threat to freedom or secularism could be a fundamental issue but the formation of Telangana or keeping the State united was just a political, administrative arrangement. It is true that people are swayed by sentiment on both sides. But a mature political party should not be swayed by agitations carried on by a vocal minority to whichever region it belonged to. It should reflect calmly on the repercussions of any stand it might take.

Dr. JP refuted criticism in certain quarters that he had undertaken the Delhi mission as part of a secret agenda. The Lok Satta does not have a private agenda that is different from its public agenda. All that he had suggested to Central leaders was that peace, order and sanity should be restored as a top priority. He had told Central leaders that Delhi, having taken a decision on Telangana, could not resile from its stand even as it could not ride roughshod over Andhra Pradesh by forcibly imposing its will. A just solution would emerge only when the interests and aspirations of people in all the regions were considered. Discussions would narrow down differences and open the way for a settlement acceptable to all.

The Lok Satta would endorse whatever settlement that emerges after such wide-ranging consultations, Dr. JP said.

Meanwhile, the party would send a team comprising representatives of the three regions and representing all districts would go round district headquarters and municipalities and municipal corporations in the State, organize discussion forums and try to ascertain what their problems were and how the division of the State or failure to divide it would help them. The team will also organize gram sabhas in select villages.

During the day-long meeting the participants divided themselves into groups and discussed the party’s stand on the current political crisis as well as the action program the party should undertake.

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