Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said today that Andhra Pradesh legislators have now to decide whether they would act like slaves of their parties or as per the dictates of their conscience in the interests of the people of the State and the country.
Commenting on the spate of resignations by legislators cutting across parties, regions and castes protesting against the Delhi decision to initiate the Telangana State formation process, Dr. JP said the resignations highlighted that the parties had been gambling with the lives of people by saying one thing in public and believing in another.
Talking to media persons who called on him, Dr. JP ridiculed Chief Minister K. Rosaiah and Opposition leader N. Chandrababu Naidu for attempting to wriggle out of the positions they had taken less than 24 hours ago. The Chief Minister would now say that after all a resolution had to be passed in the Assembly while the Opposition leader maintained that he was under the impression that a resolution would not come up for debate without widespread consultations.
Dr. JP said that all parties had been plunged into a serious crisis because all of them had been indulging in a game of bluff by feigning support to the Telanagana cause in public and opposing it in their heart of hearts. Delhi had called their bluff by pinning them down to their protestations while legislators called the bluff of their party leadership by resigning from seats which they had won after spending a fortune hardly six months ago.
“Now that the ball is in the court of the legislature, the legislators will have to decide whether they should remain chained to their parties or unshackle themselves and vote according to their conscience on the proposed resolution on Telangana.”
Dr. JP said that the Government of India had set a very dangerous precedent by succumbing to violence and arson on the Telanagana issue. The Constitution provided for peaceful and democratic resolution of problems. Instead of sticking to the constitutional path, the Government of India acted like the monarchs of the past by issuing a fiat around midnight when the entire country was asleep. It had not bothered to take the opinion of elected MPs, MLAs and people into confidence. The specter of the decision on Telanagana would haunt Governments both at the Center and in States for a long time to come.
Dr. JP appealed to the people to realize that political parties had taken them for a ride all along. The people viewed the elections as a spectator sport without appreciating the parties were fiercely fighting with each other on who should have the right to gobble up the humble lamb, the voter, first. The voters should understand that they do not exist for parties but that parties exist for them. Traditional parties have so far succeeded in rousing their primordial loyalties to religion, caste, language and region to serve their narrow goal of coming to power and using them as pawns in their game.
Dr. JP appealed to people of all regions, especially the youth and students, to be restrained and to promote a peaceful and healthy debate. “We should reject politics of hate. We should all together find an amicable and honest solution to fulfill the needs and aspirations of all people. Giving power to people in each district, city, town and village has to be a central feature of re-creating our republic. ‘Malice towards none and charity to all’ should be our motto, and we should strive to give every child an opportunity to fulfill its potential irrespective of the accident of birth.”
The political crisis should be utilized by people to bring about a transformation in the nature of politics. Politics should be a means to provide them quality education, healthcare and skill enhancement and livelihood opportunities and not a means for parties to ride roughshod over them.
Dr. JP said the crisis had bared the opportunistic and bankrupt policies of all traditional parties. The people should draw a lesson and join hands to transform the very nature of politics.