The Lok Satta Party said today that PRP President Chiranjeevi has merely betrayed his colossal ignorance of the Constitution and democracy by questioning the rationale behind Lok Satta’s stand in favor of district governments. (Chiranjeevi has commented yesterday in Visakhapatnam that formation of district governments amounted to the State's vivisection).
Talking to the media, party spokesmen Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao, Mr. V.Laxman Balaji, Mrs. K.Geeta Murthy said that what all the Lok Satta had been agitating for is in accordance with the 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution which envisaged transfer of powers, responsibilities, resources and personnel to local governments. The Lok Satta stand is in tune with Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of gram swaraj.
The Lok Satta has all along fought for empowerment of panchayats, mandal parishads, zilla parishads, municipalities and municipal corporations so that they would be at the service of citizens who are sovereign in a democracy. Governments existed for people and not the other way round. The era of power vesting in the PM, CM and the DM (prime minister, chief minister and district magistrate) should give way for power in the hands of governments elected at the local level.
In response to Chiaranjeevi’s demand that the Lok Satta clarify where it stood on the demand for keeping the State intact, the spokesmen pointed out that unlike Chiaranjeevi, who changed his colors like a chameleon, the Lok Satta had taken a consistent stand right from the beginning. The traditional parties supported the division of the State one day and opposed it the next day unabashedly and cynically for short-term political gains.
“A mature political party would not function like a weathervane and be swept away when primordial loyalties to religion and region, caste and language take hold of people. After all, the State had been rocked by caste clashes in 1988 and communal riots for many years. Is it wise for any party to side this caste or that religion when tempers run high?”
“Neither heavens would fall nor an El Dorado unveiled with Telangana formation. The Lok Satta is not opposed to Telangana formation if such a consensus emerged in its favor after wide-ranging consultations with all the stakeholders. It has no objection to the State remaining united if that is the consensus.
“The traditional political parties should realize that the formation of a Telangana State is merely a means and not an end. There will not be any transformation in the lives of people unless they are empowered and corruption eliminated, and quality education, healthcare and livelihood opportunities provided to all without reference to the accident of their birth in a particular caste or religion or region.”
Political parties should stop playing to the galleries in a bid to manipulate gullible people for their partisan ends, added the Lok Satta leaders.