The Lok Satta Party today refuted reports in a section of the media that its President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan had called on BJP leader L. K. Advani at the suggestion of Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi.
Talking to the media, party leaders Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao, Mr. Beesetti A. Babji, Mrs.K. Geetamurti, clarified that Dr. JP had sought an appointment with Mr. Advani long before he met Mrs. Gandhi and called on him as scheduled.
The leaders pointed out that Dr. JP is on a mission to Delhi to help resolve the current political crisis in Andhra Pradesh.
In his meetings with national leaders, Dr. JP has been underlining the need for cooling down the inflamed passions in both the Telangana and Andhra regions of the State. The Government of India made a clear policy statement on December 9 based on its judgment of the prevailing situation and the clear impression given by political parties in Andhra Pradesh that they would support formation of a separate Telangana State.
“Dr. JP is making the point that a solemn assurance of the Government of India should not be taken lightly, and cannot be violated at will. The credibility of the Government of India is critical to nation building and cannot be frittered away for political expediency. Equally, India is a federal, democratic republic and the Government of India cannot impose its will on a major State and ride roughshod over people’s concerns and aspirations. We have a complex situation in which a part of the State wants separation and the rest of the State wants integration. Both demands cannot be accommodated simultaneously. The Government of India has to act with great wisdom, credibility, and foresight. Nothing should be done unilaterally. The people should be given full opportunity to express their opinions on the future of the State. There should be give and take on both sides and a satisfactory settlement, which fulfils aspirations of all people and addresses the concerns of all regions, should be arrived at. There cannot be a knee-jerk and ad hoc approach to the problem. There cannot be winners and losers in a democracy. It has to be a win-win situation for all.”
The Lok Satta leaders underlined that decisions in a democracy have to be taken through constitutional processes. Cynical exploitation of people’s emotions for short-term political gain would cause disaster to our republic. India is a mature democracy and behave like a mature democracy and not like Ruwanda in which ethnic conflicts claimed 800000 lives. “Problems are challenging but not intractable. With goodwill we can find a way out.”
Pending the finding of a permanent settlement, the Government of India should not sit idle. The Pranab Mukherjee committee on the Telangana issue produced precious little after six years of its constitution while the Rosaiah committee was a non-starter.
Both the Central and State Governments should turn the present the crisis into an opportunity to put an end to centralization of power. For instance, regional committees of legislators with full autonomy and powers to enforce existing arrangements like the six-point formula could be formed. The Government of India should come up with a package to address backwardness in different regions of the State.
People should realize that whether the State is divided or not all of us live in the same territory and speak the same language and have to coexist with mutual respect. The Lok Satta won’t compromise on the interest of any region and will fight to ensure justice to everybody.
The Lok Satta leaders called upon the youth and students not to waste their time on emotional outbursts but work together to change the nature of politics in Andhra Pradesh. Thanks to the chicanery, unbridled corruption and cynicism of major political parties millions of people have been leading miserable lives for decades. The Telangana problem has exposed the cynical flip-flops of major political parties.
“It is time that all likeminded persons who care deeply for the country, no matter in which party they happen to be, forged a new political force and transformed the State and the country.”