Saturday, February 27, 2010
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today called upon the Yuva Sattta to recruit and train at least 50,000 workers who would pursue politics for building a better society. If the Yua Satta succeeds in its mission by 2014, it will have created a big social asset.
Addressing the just-formed State Working Committee of the Yuva Satta, Dr. JP asked the youth wing to take the ensuing elections to civic bodies including municipalities and panchayats as an opportunity to build new leadership.
Dr. JP pointed out that the recent agitation for a separate Telangana also mirrored people’s revulsion for politics. But hatred for politics would not serve any purpose since everything concerning people revolved round politics. A solution lay only in bettering politics.
Yuva Satta President Dasari Ratnam, Advisor Dr. Panduranga Rao, Vice President G. Mangala, General Secretaries Raja Ramakrishna Varma, Anjaneyulu, and Ramana Reddy, and Secretary Sridevi were among those who attended the meeting.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan was all praise for Union Finance Minister for reining in fiscal deficit and putting the economy back on the growth path but faulted him for failing to empower the third tier of government – the local bodies – with devolution of resources.
Commenting on the Union Budget for 2010-11, Dr. JP pointed out that the 13th Finance Commission recommendations along with Centrally-sponsored schemes would transfer nearly 3.5 lakh crore to Rs.4 lakh crore from the Government of India to States. Of it, a mere 1.5 percent amounting to less than Rs.10000 crore was to go to local bodies. Without devolution of resources to local bodies in tune with the 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments, there would not be any improvement in people’s lives.
Dr. JP complimented Mr. Pranab Mukherjee for taking steps towards fiscal consolidation with calibrated withdrawal of stimulus packages and bringing down the fiscal deficit from 7.8 % in 2008-09 to 6.9 percent in 2009-10 and planning to reduce it to 5.4% in 2011-12. He also gave credit to the Finance Minister for the country inching towards a growth rate of 7.2% in 2009-10 notwithstanding poor rainfall in many parts of the country, and aiming at a growth rate of 8.5 percent in 2011-12.
Dr. JP, who described the increase in petroleum product prices as inevitable whichever party happened to be in power, regretted that the Union Finance Minister had not paid any attention to subsidizing public transport. The Union Finance Minister, who levied a cess on coal to encourage clean technologies in the context of global warming, should have thought of public transport as a complementary means to curb emission of harmful gasses by the ever proliferating private transport vehicles.
Although Mr. Pranab Mukherjee held forth on poverty eradication – the ruling party’s mantra since 1971 --, he was short on action. Poverty could not be eradicated unless the Government focused on providing quality education and health care to every child and on enhancing skills of the millions of the unemployed. It was the fear over livelihood prospects that prompted the youth to take to agitations in Andhra Pradesh.
Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, one of the senior most politicians with rich experience, did not display vision in making a frontal assault on poverty through promotion of education and healthcare. Instead, he confined himself to schemes like the NREGS that fetched votes.
Mr. Pranab Mukherjee has also failed to focus on improving agricultural productivity and contented himself with allocating a token Rs.400 crore to Eastern India.
Dr. JP, who welcomed the relief given to income tax payers, wondered why the Union Finance Minister had not bothered about raising the tax base. The Union Government’s direct tax revenue constituted a mere 12% of the GDP whereas it is 40% in the U.S. and nearly 50% in the U.K.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The Indian railway system continues to be in a crisis since it has kept the winds of liberalization at bay, said Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said here today. When Delhi let go its stranglehold on airports and sea ports and permitted States to promote them, the country has witnessed a dramatic growth in the two sectors.
Commenting on the railway budget presented by Ms. Mamata Banerjee, Dr. JP said the railways’ failure to be the lifeline of the economy has resulted in the road sector overtaking the railways in goods movement. The railways which once carried 80 percent of the cargo now handled only 20 percent. Neither the NDA Government nor the UPA Government has taken cognizance of the enormous losses the nation is put to because of road transport. Road traffic resulted in regular accidents and huge loss of life, involved huge expenditure, warranted fuel imports, caused pollution and wear and tear of roads.
Dr. JP also suggested that each zonal railway be given total autonomy and treated as an independent profit center. The South Central Railway earned a daily profit of Rs.5 crore while the Eastern Railway incurred a daily loss of Rs.6 crore. For want of autonomy, the SC Railway has not been able to address the pressing needs of people in the region whereas thanks to political patronage the Eastern Railway continued to bag many projects.
Dr. JP welcomed the Railway Minister’s proposal to encourage railway development under the public-private partnership mode since there is no alternative. A white paper published by the Railways has estimated that it has to invest Rs.14 lakh crore in the next 10 years on construction of new lines, acquisition of rolling stock etc. There is no way in which the railways can raise such resources and become the country’s lifeline.
For instance, the 13 projects under construction in Andhra Pradesh call for an investment of Rs.3600 crore, not to talk of the new lines proposed in the current budget. The budget allocated a total of Rs.4300 crore for the entire country for construction of 1000 km of lines in the coming financial year. At this rate, completion of the projects already taken up will take a decade or two.
Dr. JP disclosed that Andhra Pradesh accounted for 5500 km of the total 36000 km of railway lines already surveyed but there is no prospect of the lines materializing in the near future. An autonomous SC Railway, for instance, could complete them in a few years because it can raise loans to match its Rs.2000 crore annual profit.
The Lok Satta leader also took exception to the Railway Minister’s attempt to placate all States by allocating nominal amounts to one project or the other in each of them. Saying that bad politics drives away good economics, he said that the Carriage Repair Workshop at Tirupati could be developed into a coach manufacturing plant with a few hundred crores of investment. Instead, the Railway Minister proposed construction of a new plant in West Bengal at a cost of a few thousands of crores of rupees.
Again, the Union Railway Minister sought to please MPs by introducing a large number of passenger train services unmindful of the huge losses in running them. The railways should focus on long-distance travel with express services and leave short distance travel to the road sector.
Dr. JP said it was a fact that Andhra Pradesh had received a better deal than in the past. Yet, without a paradigm change in the working of the railways, the country could not progress.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today wholeheartedly welcomed the Union Health Ministry’s advice that State Health Departments be empowered to develop and implement an alcohol consumption control policy since Excise Departments focused more on revenue generation than on restricting consumption.
Talking to the media, party spokespersons Mr.Katari Srinivasa Rao, Mrs.K.Geeta Murthy, Mrs. N.Saroja Devi said the Union Government’s move was long overdue.
Irrespective of the party in power, the Governments in Andhra Pradesh have, far from restricting liquor consumption excelled in promoting it with a view to maximizing revenues. Andhra Pradesh earned about Rs.12000 crore during 2009-10 by way of excise, sales tax, license fee etc. on liquor.The revenue would shoot up to at least Rs.15000 crore during 2010-11.
The Lok Satta leaders pointed out that the State Government would not take any step which might dent its liquor revenue. “It offers incentives to Excise officials for maximizing sales, encourages unauthorized liquor outlets known as belt shops and would not close liquor outlets along highways and near educational institutions and places of worship.”
The Lok Satta leaders said, “the Andhra Pradesh Government earns national kudos for its welfare activities concealing the fact that it implements most of them with sin money. The State Government refuses to acknowledge that addiction to liquor has already ruined the lives of nearly 70 lakh families. It seems to believe that those who ruin their health with liquor could always fall back on its flagship health scheme, ‘Arogyasree’ to regain their health.
The Lok Satta leaders welcomed the Union Health Ministry’s plan to compensate the States for loss of revenue due to restriction on alcohol consumption. They hoped the Government of India would unveil a compensation scheme in the Union budget on February 26.
The Lok Satta leaders said that political parties are equally to blame for promoting liquor addiction. A survey by the party has revealed that most of the young voters tasted liquor for the first time in their lives during elections when rival parties plied them with free liquor.
If the political parties were genuinely interested in the health and welfare of voters, they should refrain from distributing liquor to induce voters.
They recalled that it was only the the Lok Satta Party which had taken an undertaking from its contestants in all elections that they would not induce voters with money or liquor.
|kondal311:Do you mean politicians are using this sentiment for their gain. In 2004 elections TRS was part of UPA and during 2009 it joined hands with TDP. Almost all parties said they are OK for telangana during 2009 elections. Is it oppertunistic politics or Do we need Telangana really ?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: In our first-past-the-post system(our election system in which even one vote majority gives the victory to a candidate), parties are desperate to get a few more votes to be in power. So, they mean one thing, but say another thing. It is these short term political tactics which lead to this crisis.|
|Yogeswar:Dear Sir, Do you think the current leadership either pro telangana or anti telangana is mature enough to tackle the situation?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Yes and No. They created the problem. But eventually they will muddle through it and find a solution. But the price paid in the meanwhile is totally avoidable.|
|K Suresh:Good evening sir.Earlier we didnt see much responce from students on telengana issue.why do you think students are actively participatiing in telengana issue?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Jobs are important, and there is a misplaced hope that everyone will get government jobs if a new state is created.|
|Bharath Reddy:Dont you think the seperation of Telangana will definetely hit Brand Hyderabad in a big way??? No one in Hyderabad is really interested in seperation. Can you please throw some light into this ???|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: In the short term, there will be a price. But everything depends on the arrangements and confidence of investors, and the wisdom of leadership.|
|Raju Choppella:The conditions of roads in Hyderabad are the worst, I had lived in Pune since 1992 till 2007, then shifted to Hyderabad, there are so many speed breakers that we feel we are driving on rumblers rather than roads, why should there be unregulated speed breakers on the road? How should we bring the attention of the government at the rampant laying of badly designed speed breakers..??|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: We do not have conscription in India. We need to change our parties and politics. But at the end of the day it is the voters who have the controlling hand. No point blaming politicians all the time. Middle class and youth must take responsibility.|
|Yogeswar:In the same breath, I would like to know if Telangana is relevant at all. Though the question is very direct, i would like to know the answer in a holistic way.|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: I have addressed this question in my earlier replies.|
|srikanth:I'm more concerned with the development of hyderabad happened so far.Do you think hyderabad as an union territory will develop further or as a state capital of an unified andhra or telangana?.|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: We should not jump the gun at this stage. Let us calmly sit and resolve the issues.|
|sharif:What is your stand on Justice krishna's panel. is it political gimmick played by indian Govt.|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: At this stage, we need a platform for peaceful dialogue. We also need an impartial body to gather views and to determine facts about development, discrimination, if any, and problems. Therefore, constitution of the Committee is a sensible step.|
|Dinakar:Also Sir, the main point being raised by all these political leaders is "No-Development in the region". But in my view the main block for this was PWG. The same happened in districts like Sri Kakulum, Vijayanagaram etc. also, because of PWG. But since 2002, after govt. taking stern action against pwg, we are seeing lot of development in this region. Nobody is even looking in that aspect. Everybody is behind vote bank politics. what is your say?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: I have given plenty of statistical evidence to show that Telengana districts are growing fast economically. But we need to do a lot more im education, healthcare, skills, small towns development, agro-processing, rural power supply, infrstructure etc. But that is unrelated to seperate statehood.|
|PC:Sir, What do you feel would be the best strategy on Hyderabad just in case a separate telangana state forms. Would it be justice to Andhra in case Hyderabad forms only Telangana Capital? Would Telangana accept the idea of common capital?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Any solution will have to be broadly acceptable to all. Let us wait and see|
|Badal:Sir, As an ex IAS officer do you support separation of state. It is more of a political play rather than development need. More division means further more descimination and it will create more regionalism and hatred b/w AP and telangana people...|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: This is not a great moral question. We can decide either way provided all stake-holders are satisfied, national repercussions are addressed, and the real solution of district governments is implemented. Strong views are not necessary, as it is neither a catastrophe, nor a panacea.|
|pavva:Is it true that really telangana region losing their funds and water?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: - About funds - there is no discrimination whatsoever. - Regarding water, Telangana accounts for about 20% of the total catchment area of Krishna river. But Telangana contributes 263 TMC of water to the river, and is allotment 280 TMC for the projects in Telangana. Coastal Andhra region gets more because AP gets a higher share than the catchment; water always flows down-stream into the sea; and there is prior use of water in the coastal belt that established riparian rights for about 150 years. Clearly, there is no discrimination. Growth of irrigation in Telangana is much higher over the past 50 years - partly canal, partly bore-wells. But there has been no discrimination by governments. Geography gives each region same advantages, and causes some problems. Everything cannot be equally distributed.|
|Yogeswar:Sir, This discussion is very intellectual. In order to make a common man who is a student or a villager in Telangana , who are seeing a great advantage in Telangana, understand that it is not the Panacea, what would you suggest?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: - Let each district have its own government. - Let all simple jobs go to locals - and let us create an authority to enforce it. - Let each village have Rs. 1000 per capital right away every year to take care of local problems. - Let us ensure that each child has real education, healthcare and skills to be able to stand up with dignity and self-reliance. This is the language everyone understands. We need this message to go everywhere - all over India.|
|NATA SHEKAR:Hi Jayaprakash Narayan sir - Is dividing the state required at this point of time . If we give positive signal to this type of things . In future still in Telangana state people will try to divide still smaller for there selfishness or like kashmire they will ask for seperate country .|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Mrs. Indira Gandhi, in her 1971 speech to Lok Sabha addressed this question brilliantly. That is why we need a national, tangible, universally acceptable marker to reorganize state. Language has been such a marker so far, and all non-Hindi states are formed on the basis of one language - one state. Now we need to carefully examine other markers before setting out to reorganize our states. Neither history nor geography nor development are sufficient markers. Often, the facts are distorted to create animosities. We need to rise above pettiness to solve problems.|
|Gautham:My 7year old son saw a picture of voilent pro-telangana agitation, he thought the incident was related to a terror attack and asked, are they terrorists?. I said no and before I could explain he asked another simple innocent question, are they not Indians?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: It is hard to make sense of our politics and our agitations most of the time. I hope by the time your son is of voting age, we will have created an India of which he could be proud. We owe it to him and all other kids.|
|Raju Choppella:Looking at how this issue has brought to the fore the clear indiscipline and opportunism of politicians to the fore, I feel all Politicians at least must have compulsory 3 years Military duty to be eligible to get elected as People's true representatives. The freedom enjoyed by the people comes at a great cost and the politicians should know what this great nation has to suffer when it comes to guarding itself.. Your opinion in respect of the comments by activists that only family of Telangana martyrs be given the right to fight elections in Telangana state??|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Raju Choppella: In years to come, are we going to talk to you as CM of Andhra Pradesh or as the CM of Telangana? Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Neither, I am afraid. I will be more than content if we reorder our priorities, empoer our local governments, change the nature of politics and end corruption. My role is to create a platform for the young people like you to take charge and transform the way we govern ourselves.|
|Raju Choppella:In years to come, are we going to talk to you as CM of Andhra Pradesh or as the CM of Telangana?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Neither, I am afraid. I will be more than content if we reorder our priorities, empoer our local governments, change the nature of politics and end corruption.|
|mahesh:I need some clarification on what factor telangana districts are growing much faster than andhra region districts. Can u please ans me?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: I have presented many parameters and the growth in Telangana & rest of AP over 50 years. The facts speak for themselves. If you see the annual growth rates of gross district domestic product of various districts from 1994-95 to 2006-07, the facts are revealing. 1994-95 to 2006-07 - Annual average growth rate. AP: 6.68% Nalgonda: 7.38% Khammam: 6.99% Warangal: 7.57% Karimnagar: 7.53% Adilabad: 6.46% Nizamabad: 6.30% Medak: 7.34% Hyderabad: 10.41% Rangareddy: 9.32% Mahabubnagar: 8.34% Rayalaseema: Kurnool: 5.33% Ananthapur: 5.82% Cuddapah: 4.90% Chittoor: 4.73% coastal AP Nellore: 5.09% Prakasam: 6.80% Guntur: 4.81% Krishna: 7.01% West Godavari: 5.79% East Godavari: 6.46% Visakhapatnam: 9.65% Vizianagaram: 5.81% Srikakulam: 6.58% you can see these trends - these are long term trends aggregate economic growth over 13 years for each district. The facts speak for themselves.|
|gopi sade:Dear Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, i agree that this is created by politicians for there self motive, and i have to agree with you The problem is clearly not economic - it is political. but why do you think the people are also reacting to this if it is only political.|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: People's concerns and anger about everything with our politics has been channelized in this direction. There is a perception that separate Telangana is a panacea to all problems. People are often gullible, and once a collective frenzy takes over, reason and rationality take a back seat. This happened in all parochial movements. Caste, religion, region, and language have a powerful hold over people from time to time. Real political sagacity lies in building a nation transcending these narrow loyalties.|
|suresh:There are many countries in the World which are smaller then big districts in India. Then what is the problem for creating new state ?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: No problem. The only thing is nothing can be done arbitrarily without a broad agreement among all stake-holders. Also once language ceases to be a marker for state formation, then we should decide what is a rational criterion for division of states. Once these questions are addressed, solutions can be found. But in any case, real solution lies in district governments, and none of these players is committed to real empowerment of people!|
|Manmohan:Sir ,We know that decentralization of power would increse effectiveness of governance. Don't u think that creation of separate telangana state would address this region specific problems such as unemployment,poverty,Flourosis, effectively ?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: A seperate state is no solution. The culture of governance will not change with creation of new state or a new capital. We need a third tier of federalism with real local governance where people see the links between vote and outcomes, taxes and public services, and authority and accountability.|
|vijaymohan:HI Dr.Narayan I am vijay . I am a gradutate from BITS-Pilani.We proud ourselves that our state produces largest number of students to iits and bits.But after the issue with telangan we became a laughing stck infront of all people.That is ok. what bothers me is to see young students wasting a life and year just succumbing to the mass hysteria. Politicians claim their lives to be sacred as they sacrificed for the mother land of telangana. My point is can we ever see a situation where we can attribute the terms of integirty,accountability and responsibilty to politicians.We have politicians who look for next election but no leader who looks for next generation.My question is why cant we form a pseudo government in telangana..let there be separate budget, seperate sports authority, separate rtc departments not on paper but in psudo terms and fix ourselves a small goal and see if they are acheived.If we fail to achieve we can say the problem is much deeper.We from bits and iits request that partition should be based on logic than emotion.|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: We can and must actually create real governments in each district with real authority, real resources, and with accountability. Also we need to create independent regional authorities which will enforce provisions relating to jobs. There are elegant solutions if we all care for justice enough. Yes, politics to day is very scary. But there is no reason to despair. Change will come when all of us especially when young people like you understand the kind of India we need to build, and set out to build it. It is hard work. But there is nothing more vital for our collective future.|
|Krupakar Manukonda:Can High court direct the state to withdraw police forces from college campus when it is the duty of the state to protect law and order? Why should the universities be a hub for regional divisions?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: These things happen. Let us not get too excited. Happily, as a robust democracy, we have self-correcting mechanisms to set things right.|
|mohammed ali:Hello JP Sir, In your opinion what will be in the best interest of AP....A separate telangana or a Telangana CM ?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: LokSatta has always held that a new state is neither a catastrophe, nor a panacea. The real issues are different. I have outlined the solutions in earlier replies.|
|Pradyumna:As per the evidence you presented about economic development in Telangana, and your conclusion that all this is purely political. Why don't the leading party or the hi-command or somebody to take a strong stand and say no more playing around with psych of people. We have already lost a lot of man hours and lives and property for this cause.|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: past sins cast long shadows. When major parties cynically arouse passions and manipulate people, there is a price to pay. But as the dust settles down, I am sure we will all find an acceptable, sensible solution which ensures justice to all in a manifest way.|
|pravik:Dear Sir it is interesting to observe that most of the people involved in Telangana moment are students....., Is there a real moment first of all, if so then why are Ordinery People not coming out...? I guess Ordinery man is more concerned of Job Opportunities, Local development, better education for there Kids & other basic needs....? Your response will be highly appreciated. - PRAVIK|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: A myth has been spread that if a State is formed, every youngster with 7th Class(!) qualification will get a job, and every acre will get irrigation. Both are myths. It is easy to fall prey to such propaganda. It is easier to think that someone else is the cause of our problems. This is an ages-old tactic employed by politicians to manipulate gullible people.|
|Murali Lattupalli:Is there no law which could prevent the political parties to refrain using hate speech for their political gains and divide the people ? The so called political leaders even at the last rituals of the student who immolated himself were saying on the record that they are ready for any sacrifices. How many more students lifes they want to ruin ?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: We need to strengthen laws to prevent hate speeches, fomenting divisions, and destruction of properties or rail rokos and rasta rokos. But the real deterrence to parties is citizens' enlightenment and sensible vote. Not one member of a politician's family or official's family has committed suicide, or suffered injury, or lost an academic year or job. We need to make the youth realize this.|
|yvsajay:Hello sir, Suggest a path for a young determined youth, who desparately wants to bring about a change in politics by being a part of it.|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Participate. Vote sensibly. Understand the real solutions. Mobilise the public opinion. Be politically engaged while taking care of your own career. Be prepared to lead. We shall prevail.|
|Yogeswar:How much time does it take for a person to return to sanity? Do you think the moment has passed and he hasn't noticed it? Or do you feel that the moment will come soon. Instead of that, how about some sane people talk to the insane people to get their sanity back?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Please see statistics above. There are some more facts. Jalayagnam expenditure: Telangana : 45% Rest of AP: 55% Literacy growth: Telangana : 1143% Rest of AP: 448% Primary and UP schools: Telangana: 32108 growth: 410% Rest of AP 47877 Growth: 125% High schools: Telangana: 8579 growth: 8394% Rest of AP 7616 Growth: 1132% Development has been faster, and distribution has been even in Telangana. But a lot more needs to be done.|
|S.S.Kiran:Hi JP, Are you satisfied With the current Sri Krishna committe, and do you have any plans to put forward information to the committe for or against telangana., whichever way/whatever facts you choose?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: The Committee can only do three things - ascertain views; determine facts about development etc; and suggest approaches to a solution. The real decision will have to be made by elected governments and legislatures. Lok Satta will certainly place its views and suggestions before the committee. But we do not take a hard position on the question; we will focus on the solutions to resolve the problem.|
|santosh:Dear Sir. How do you justify the allocation of NABARD funds when it was evident more recently.|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: We cannot justify any discrimination anywhere. Nor should we jump to conclusions quickly. The NABARD funds allocation you are talking about pertains to one particular order in relation to flood-affected areas. To understand the truth, we need to compile all allocations and examine them in totality.|
|akkirajup:Sir, what is the possibility of Telengana state forming without Hyderabad as its capital?. Why cannot be there a timebound agreement - say, for next 20 years, Hyderabad will be common capital, and meanwhile let the Andhra and Rayalaseema combined (or divided) state build its own capital in these 20 years?.|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: I am sure all these will be examined carefully before a decision is taken.|
|venky:Dear Sir, Recently there were reports that Maoists are also getting involved in the Telangana agitations, what have you got to say?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: We all have seen these reports. It is not unrealistic that those who believe in armed revolution will fish in troubled waters. The key problem is our political process and leadership, not Maoists.|
|srinath:Is broad consensus not needed for United Andhra?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: No government at the national level will act unilaterally without a broad agreement among all stakeholders in the State. This is true not only in a democracy like India, but even in dictatorships like China where large questions of ethnicity and statehood are decided.|
|Kiran Kumar V:All of us know the political and sentimental perspectives around the issue, keeping them aside, Mr JPN can you please throw some light from administrative side, how were different regions progress over past few decades, it is clearly visible that some pockets (in both Telangana and coastal Andhra) have outperformed some other. Do you attribute this to regional politics or natural resources in those areas or anything else? What efforts did state govt make to ensure prosperity is spread equally across the state?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Some facts: Agricultural implents: Telengana-67% Rest of AP-33% Food grains-Rice growth(1955 to 2006): Telengana-708% Rest of AP-191%. Pulses production (1955 to 2006):Telengana-243% Rest of AP: 207%. Cotton production growth (1955 to 2006): Telengana-5443% Rest of AP-539% Sugar cane production growth (1955 to 2006): Telengana-225% Rest of AP-262% Gross irrigation growth: Telengana-140% Rest of AP-38% No. of Agri pump sets: Telengana-58.5% Rest of AP-41.5% Power consumption per capita: Telengana-777% Rest of AP-645%|
|Sriteja:If Telangana is separated, andhra might be deprived of water from rivers.. Will this factor be considered during the process of separation and decisions?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: There are settled principles regarding use of river waters even among nations, let alone among regions and states in one country. Prior use is accepted as a key principle. We can resolve all problems, provided an acceptable solution is found.|
|srinivas:The state bifurcation itself needs a lot of money .. for administrative and other set ups.. do we have surplus money to cater to these needs/|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: If a sensible solution emerges, we can always find resources. Sometimes there will be a setback, but that is the price to pay for bad politics and our inaction for long.|
|Shan:Dear Sir , it is a great honour to exhange views with you. My humble opinion is that , the Telangana issue has created bad blood between people and it is here to stay whatever may be the final outcome, so why to go ahead with a partition and risk everything? I would like to know your opinion on this.|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Bad blood is only temporary. We are all the same people sharing the same dreams. Good sense, honest and purposive action, competent and committed leadership, and time will always heal the wounds, and we will all emerge stronger from this ordeal.|
|Pavan Prenderghast:Sir, I do not know the whether Telengana is a fair claim or not. What i do know and experienced in the recent past is the wave of terror unleashed by the pro-Telangana agitators here, in Hyderabad. They maim, destroy and cause mayhem with accompanying war cries of "Jai Telangana".At 2:30am on New years day, some of them have stood on roads in an inebriated condition and forced passers by to shout 'Jai Telengana". The so called JAC has been issuing statements that are motivated and divisive. I am scared, my family is scared. This might not be a question. It would be great if you could give your inputs.|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: There is no cause for panic. There is no animosity among 95% people. Only a small vocal minority has been provoked. In time, we will find an acceptable solution. Please do not spread panic, or promote bitterness. These things happen when passions run high. We are still not really civilized about resolving our differences peacefully and through reasoned debate. We should change that.|
|Arunn Bhagavathula:When more than 100 MLAs, MPs, Ministers and Chief Ministers from Telangana haven't done much to solve the problems of that area for more than 50 years.. can they be expected to solve them once a separate state is carved out?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Problems exist all over the state. We need to find real solutions. Mean while we need to promote healthy debate and channelize our anger against centralized MLA-Officer raj, corruption, ugly politics and failure of education and healthcare.|
|gottimukkala raju:"People are gullible. Romantic sacrificialism and contagious suicides" - guess your perspective is too cold... one needs to look at the historical perspective with respect to disparity in development, culture etc. in addition to the descriminatory practices. in my public life, i come across a number of incidents where discrimination of culture, development or jobs. the armchair thinking could lead to superficial observations!!|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Please see my other answers.|
|Nskumar:Dear Jayaprakash, I have high regards for you for your intellectual and administrative capabilities. But I am afraid that this will not be the situation after I learnt that there is no internal democracy in your party. You are very well aware of the fact that Telangana is the most hot and burning topic in AP now. And why is Dr.Jayaprakash not visiting the OU campus and try convincing the students not to commit suicides. Has Dr.Jayaprakash started tasting the real flavour of Indian Political system? Or why couldn't Dr.JP take the initiative of speaking to leaders like KCR, JC Diwakar, Anam vivek etc and ask them to shut their troublesome mouths? Dr. JP, what do you think will centre do after Sri Krishna committee submits its report? Will it action its recommendations? Or will it be another 'miscellaneous activity/account' by Indian Government. It is a known fact that you are in favor of this committee. Hence my question to you. Why weren't the recommendations of many other committees implemented in regards to Telangana. What has happened to the recent Pranab committee? How will you or any other leader or beaurocrat vow that the recommendations will be implemented in its true sense and entirety?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: When passions are running high, and when parties and politicians are playing with people's sentiments and lives for personal gain, it is hard to persuade them with reason. Our only hope is for people - especially youth and media to come back to sanity and rational debate. Much of the discussion today is based on ignorance of facts, and devoid of any understanding of what needs to be done. Any solution that emerges through broad agreement of all sections of the state should be implemented. But real solutions lie in district councils, education and healthcare, and end of corruption.|
|Vijay1440:People say that Telangana is not developed. Is Telangana unique in that aspect in India or in Andhra Pradesh?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Please seem my earlier replies. Telangana's per capita income is higher than AP's. Rayalaseema, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam, Guntur, Nellore, Adilabad and Nizamabad are now falling behind in terms of growth rates. All regions have the problem - all we need a complete overhaul of governance, priorities and power structure|
|Sarath Myneni:DO you think bifurcation of states that were formed on the basis of same language cause damage to the indian union integrity|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: It is hard to say. But any upsetting of linguistic reorganization has national level repercussions. Therefore a conscious decision should be taken by the national government, because it will fuel demands all over India. There are already about twenty demands for separate statehood after Dec 9, 2009|
|kranthikumar:what are the natural resources that telangana region is having and How much resources does other regions are having?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Telangana has coal, lime stone and 970 mm rain fall. Coastal AP has sea coast, natural gas and river waters that flow through gravity. Rayalaseema has iron ore and other minerals. All are complementary to each other.|
|S W Kamath:In a one city state that AP unfortunately is, and assuming that a part of the state is carved out to make for Telengana, can we really believe that Hyderabad will also be a part of that smaller state? If so, what happens to the Andhra/Seema areas considering that a large part of the investments in Hyderabad come from outside.|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Highly centralized development in one city is both the cause of this crisis, and a hurdle to resolve it. There is no substitute to creation of a large number of small towns, and job creation at local level, along with real empowerment of district governments.|
|Yogeswar Reddy:Is Telangana movement relevant in this day and age or what could be its credibility now.|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: We must understand that the underlying factors and address them. Deep seated insecurities as a result of inadequate opportunities in wealth creation leads to serious social strife. The form it takes may vary from time-to-time, but there is a real problem we need to address.|
|Prasanth Balantrapu:Is Telangana movement really a people's movement or just of politicians'?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: All anger of people against poverty, corruption and ugly politics is channelized in a single direction right now. It is essentially a movement against politics as it is practised now. Politicians are past masters at arousing passions and promoting envy and hatred in order to convert people into vote banks. We see a combination of angst, political follies, ignorance, envy and primordial loyalties at play.|
|philip joshua: What are the Pros and Cons if Telangana happens and does not happen|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Telangana creation is neither a catastrophe, nor a panacea. We should examine the evidence about development, the future of all the regions, growth prospects of Hyderabad city and the implications to the rest of India. We do not exist in isolation and we are part of India.|
|chepyala vijaykumar:hello JP what is your view on telangana..I feel you should decide on this considering prople's aspirations|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Vijay, We need to do what is best for Telangana people. The only real answers are: 1. Repeal of Section 14(f) of the PresidentialOrder. 2. Creation of an independent authority to implement GO 610 in all regions of AP. 3. Regional Committees in all regions with powers and resources 4. Effective and empowered district governments. Lok Satta is fully committed to these goals. |
|Vijay1440:Definitely there may be some differences in the way of funds spent in Andhra Pradesh over 50+ years across areas of Andhra Pradesh. But did those differences of spending funds took place because of some ruling people who intentionally tried to ruin Telangana. Even if that is the case, what happened to the funds spent in Telangana? were they fully utilized for the development of the public.|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: There is no evidence of organized discrimination of any region or any district in AP, or for that matter elsewhere in India. It simply is not possible in our open, though flawed democracy. Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, Guntur, Nellore, Anantapur, Kurnool, Chittoor and Cuddpah are much poorer than most of Telangana. The problems are corruption, misplaced priorities, poor implementation and absence of effective local governance.|
|ravi:How justified is it to initiate steps based on a report(SRC) which is 50 years old? The present conditions are definitely different from those days.|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: We need not be bound by the past. But we need a new anchor/marker for decisions. Language as a marker served us well , and except for Hindi, all other languages have one State each. Any change has to be rational and universally applicable to the whole country. The real answer lies in empowering people directly through local governments, and reordering our priorities as government and execute policies effectively. Creation of a new State, or retention of an integrated State - neither is the real solution.|
|Narayan:Hi Mr. JP! In a current situation in AP, evrybody has their own stand from two regions with their demands. Do we believe we get the right solution for the two regions? I'm from Nalgonda district where I have seen so many villages are away from even drinking water. But only on the records, our district got the project called "Nagarjuna Sagar". But when these things will resolved along with so many problems like 610, undevelopments at telangan regions?????? What do you think if we get the correct solution? Thanks, Narayan|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Undoubtedly, backwardness exists in many parts of AP. Drinking water, school education, public health, basic amenities - all are in a disgraceful state. We need to re-engineer politics and make districts the third and effective tier of federalism. The problems transcend regions and are a result of bad politics, poor execution and failed leadership.|
|Vijay1440:I do not have any issues in saying that Telangana is ALSO not developed, But why do you think that it is not developed? Who are the culprits?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Evidence shows that 8 of the 10 districts of Telangana are growing much faster than AP over the period 1994-95 to 2006-07. In the rest of AP, only three districts out of 13 have growth rates higher than AP's. Nor surprisingly, 5 of the 10 districts of Telangana have per-capita incomes higher than in the whole AP. The districts of Telangana are far ahead of the other districts of erstwhile Hyderabad State which are in Maharashtra (with the exception of Aurangabad) and Karnataka. The problem is clearly not economic - it is political.|
|venkatesh medabalimi:A new trend that seems to have evolved is to declare Bandhs and violent protests if a group wants something. Do you think India should move on and these forms of protests that effect productivity be declared illegal ? If so, how do you think these people can express their wishes without waiting till next elections ?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: We all need to reflect. Constitution is the vehicle for peaceful reconciliation of conflicting interests in society. If violence, obstruction and inhibiting the liberty of others are the currency of public discourse, obviously we have failed the constitution. We need to recognize that healthy and reasoned debate, peaceful elections and legislatures are the only means of resolving issues.|
|Sarath Myneni:Do you think in these modern days so called revolutions, sections of people are being provoked by either politicians or by some other oppurtunists. Can't the government/parties do any think to stop this. This is clearly a very dangerous trend right now in Telangana protest????|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Sadly, there are extremely uninformed, but very strong views on both sides. we should let people realize that formation of Telangana is neither a disaster nor a panacea. The real solutions lie in empowering local governments in the Thirs tier of federalism and giving every kid a chance in life through education. So that the accident of womb does not determine her future. We need to make the young people understand it, and channelize their anger constructively.|
|NAND KUMAR AIYER:Dear Dr.Jayaprakadh Narayan, When the nation is trying to come out of recession,Combating Terrorism and Naxalites, and at this juncture politicians driven by selfish motives are asking for a separate telengana state do you think they are justified and one should not instigate students to take up this cause on behalf of the politicians.Agreed telengana's needs might have been overlooked, but we need to take up the cause and not be dogmatic about the issue.Look at Assam which was ruled by AASU some time back and where is it now. The students are being taken for a ride and they should not fall prey to the scheming politicians.|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Sadly, politicians have very little to offer to improve education and healthcare, empower citizens and local governments, end corruption and come up with coherent strategies to end poverty. Primordial loyalties of caste, region, religion and language can be easily aroused, and converted into vote banks. The only antidote is the vigilant middle class participation and sensible media debates.|
|venkatesh medabalimi:One significant aspect of the current protests has been extreme paranoia among certain student communities, some going to the extent of suicides. How do you think one can take practical measures to prevent these actions while evolving consensus before taking any decision?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: People are gullible. Romantic sacrificialism and contagious suicides are not uncommon. Mature leadership, family bonds, societal institutions giving emotional support, sensible teachers - all are critical in preventing such tragic incidents.|
|Arunn Bhagavathula:Shouldn't there be a uniform national policy for division of states?|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Yes. We should look at the larger issues - language, large cities which are economic hubs, national implications, etc.|
|gottimukkala raju:Is Hyderabad a major stumbling block for the formation of telangana state.|
| Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: It certainly is. Also the evidence shows that Telangana is growing much faster than the rest of AP over the past 13 years. Therefore the economic rationale is suspect. And, if language ceases to be the marker in State formation, we need another, clear marker. this has huge national implications.|
|gottimukkala raju:when do we think, we would find telangana a reality? what do u think are the major stumbling blocks?|
|Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: A new State can be created only when there is a broad consensus within the State. In this case, AP is the first non-Hindi state sought to be divided, and Telangana is the first region with a major city as State capital in it, which wants separation. Both make it hugely complex.|
Courtesy: IBN Live
Monday, February 22, 2010
By supplying natural gas that is now abundantly available along the Andhra Pradesh coast to fertilizer plants on a priority basis and on subsidy, urea can be supplied to farmers at a reasonable price, said the Lok Satta Party here today.
Talking to media representatives who called on him, Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said there was no alternative to supplying fertilizers on subsidy if farming were to be made remunerative.
Dr. JP suggested that the Government should give urea subsidy directly to farmers instead of fertilizer plants and help them buy other imported nutrients like phosphate and potassium. Farmers should also be encouraged to go in for micro nutrients like zinc and magnesium.
Farmers could be educated in modern agricultural practices if agri-clinics staffed by qualified personnel are set up at the rate of one for every 3000 acres.
Dr. JP demanded that the Government formulate a comprehensive fertilizer policy to promote balanced fertilizer use, since a 10 percent increase in urea price would not solve the problem.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today characterized the Andhra Pradesh Government’s budget for 2010-11 as status quoist even as it commended the State’s prudent fiscal management.
Talking to the media, party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan pointed out that despite the economic slowdown all over the country, the State Government has succeeded in reining in fiscal deficit to less than three percent of the gross State domestic product from the earlier 3.6 percent. The State, which recorded a revenue surplus of Rs.2900 crore in 2009-10, anticipates a revenue surplus of Rs. 3500 crore in 2010-11.
The decline in capital expenditure from about Rs.17000 crore in 2009-10 to Rs.14000 crore in 2010-11 is, however, a matter of serious concern, he said.
Dr. JP also praised the State Government for attracting a huge chunk of funds from the Government of India under schemes like the NREGS. During 2010-11, the State has budgeted for a receipt of Rs.28,000 crore of Government of India funds, besides a Plan assistance of Rs.3700 crore.
Paradoxically, the State Government, which is a beneficiary of Government of India largesse, would not devolve its resources on local governments. Centralization of power and spending continues unabated.
Dr. JP said that in its bid to placate MLAs the State Government planned to allocate Rs.1 crore to each MLA for taking up constituency developmental schemes. The Lok Satta would oppose the scheme and demand allocation of the fund to local bodies.
The State Government should have shown budgetary allocations region and district wise, in the context of the regional agitations sweeping the State.
Dr. JP welcomed the belated focus of the State Government on improving road infrastructure, undertaking gas exploration, and developing a petrochemical region along the coast. Sadly, there is no reference to development of an industrial gas grid in the State as in Gujarat. Andhra Pradesh attracted private investments worth only Rs.8400 crore outside the SEZs during 2009-10 because of poor infrastructure and perpetual power shortages.
The Government continued to lay emphasis on power generation and ignore power distribution. For instance, only 500,000 of the nearly three million pump-sets are supplied high-tension power.
Dr. JP regretted the State Government did not display any original thinking in addressing the twin issues of poverty elimination and provision of livelihood opportunities. Ensuring delivery of quality education and health care, enhancement of livelihood skills and development of small towns would go a long way in solving both the problems.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Andhra Pradesh has the dubious distinction of figuring among the top five States in the country in the number of atrocities committed against women and children, a conference organized by the Mahila Satta pointed out today.
According to the National Crime Bureau, Andhra Pradesh during 2007 recorded 613 dowry deaths and 2097 kidnappings and abductions, apart from thousands of cases of sexual and other types of harassment.
The conference pointed out that the Andhra Pradesh had not carried out police reforms despite recommendations by experts at both the national and State levels. The State Government had not honored its commitment to the Supreme Court on introduction of a new Police Act.
The conference demanded implementation of the Malimath Committee recommendations which among other things wanted kidnapping of women and children to be treated as atrocities warranting capital punishment. The conference demanded immediate police and judicial reforms, establishment of fast track women’s courts in every district headquarters, establishment of village courts and decentralization of power through formation of ward governments.
In another resolution, the Mahila Satta demanded immediate closure of unauthorized liquor outlets known as belt shops, ban on open drinking at liquor shops, removal of liquor shops along highways and an effective campaign against liquor consumption.
“Instead of taking government to people’s doorsteps, the authorities have succeeded in making liquor available at their doorsteps. People may not have access to medications but they have access to liquor round the clock,” the resolution said.
Mrs. N. Saroja Devi, State Mahila Satta President, welcomed the gathering. Mrs. Mahalakshmi Vice President, presided. Mrs. K. Geetha Murthy, General Secretary, introduced the resolutions.
Among the participants were GHMC President Padmaja Rani, Madhura Devi, Kantimati Kannan, Chandana Chakravarty, Noorjehan, Anuradha, Ramanarasimha Rao and CVL Narasimha Rao.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Lok Satta Party President and legislator Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan has requested the Speaker, Mr. N. Kirankumar Reddy to permit him to move a resolution in the Assembly on the repeal of a section of the Presidential Order of 1975.
Section 14 (f) of the Presidential Order issued under Article 371-D of the Constitution has fuelled regional passions in Andhra Pradesh on the misapprehension that Hyderabad will be treated as a free zone for police officials.
“Any amendment or repeal of a section of the Presidential Order issued under Article 371-D of the Constitution is entirely within the power of the President and Government of India.”
In a letter to the Speaker, Dr. JP said the repeal of Section 14 (f) of the Andhra Pradesh Public Employment (Organization of Local Cadres and Regulation of Direct Recruitment) Order, 1975 will make it clear that the scheme of local cadres will apply to the police officers as defined in clause (b) of Section 3 of the Hyderabad City Police Act, 1348F.
Dr. JP requested the Speaker to allow the matter to be entered in the list of business immediately by waiving the notice period of ten days.
The Lok Satta Party today wholeheartedly welcomed the Union Government move to hold a single national entrance examination for admission to engineering, medical and commerce courses.
The proposal made by Union Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal is long overdue, said Lok Satta leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao, V. Laxman Balaji and V. Vijayender Reddy at a media meet here today. A single examination would spare students from appearing for multiple examinations at multiple centers.
The Lok Satta leaders pointed out that nowhere in the world a regional approach to higher education is adopted in a federal country.
The Andhra Pradesh Government should lap up the proposal as it confers immense benefit on State students.
The Lok Satta leaders recalled that the Supreme Court had more than two decades ago ruled that all colleges offering professional courses should earmark 15 percent of their seats to students from all over the country. Andhra Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are the only two States which are not implementing the Supreme Court directive. Since Andhra Pradesh does not allocate 15 percent of seats in its colleges to outsiders, professional colleges in other States are denying the reservation to Andhra Pradesh students.
The skewed Andhra Pradesh policy has been doing immense harm to Andhra Pradesh students. Andhra Pradesh students have demonstrated over the years that they outshine students from other States in all competitive examinations for admission to professional colleges. For instance, they have been bagging a disproportionate share of seats in Indian Institutes of Technology because of the rigorous coaching they undergo and other reasons.
For instance, of the 30,000 seats in medicine in India, about 4500 seats are open for competition to students from all over the country. Since Andhra Pradesh does not throw open about 450 of the nearly 3000 medical seats in the State for outsiders, Andhra Pradesh students are denied the opportunity of competing for the 4500 seats elsewhere in the country. Similarly, they have not been able to get admission in some of the prestigious engineering colleges outside the State.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today termed the Andhra Pradesh move to extend Scheduled Caste status to dalit Christians and dalit Muslims through a Constitutional amendment as impractical and undesirable.
Talking to the media, party leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao, V. Laxman Balaji and E. Chennayya said the State Government move to include dalit Christians and dalit Muslims among SCs would only fan flames of hatred among castes and religions.
Instead, the quota of dalit Christians under Backward Classes C category could be increased in proportion to their population, instead of limiting it to one percent as at present.
The spokespersons recalled the Lok Satta Party President and legislator Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan had opposed the August 25, 2009 resolution in the Assembly recommending inclusion of Dalit Christians among SCs. Backward Muslims, including dalits, too could be provided a quota under the BC category. Dalit Christians and dalit Muslims included in the BC category should be extended all the rights enjoyed by SCs.
The Lok Satta leaders emphasized that reservations provided only temporary relief and not a panacea to people’s problems. A real solution lies in the Government ensuring quality education, health care, livelihood skills and employment opportunities to all, irrespective of their accident of birth in a certain caste or religion.
Monday, February 15, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the Government publish a white paper on development expenditure region and district wise since the formation of Andhra Pradesh. The white paper should include expenditure on sectors like education, health care, employment, industry, irrigation and agriculture and power.
Talking to the media, party leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao and V. Laxman Balaji regretted that the Government had failed to douse the flames of hatred among people of different regions of the State by dispelling their doubts and suspicions. As a result, ignorant and gullible people were being taken for a ride by interested parties. The regional tensions had crippled economic development, they pointed out.
The Lok Satta leaders also demanded that the Government revive the district councils, which were in vogue before 1973, and allocate funds district wise. They wanted the Government to be realistic in its budget considering the precarious State finances.
The party leaders appealed to the Government to expedite the inquiry into incidents of violence on the Osmania University campus and punish the guilty.
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today likened the Governor’s address to a curate’s egg – partly good and partly bad.
Talking to the media, Dr. JP welcomed the Government proposal to lay stress on food processing, form a road development corporation and go ahead with the development of a petro-chemical region along the coast. He also complimented the Government for its record in implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and encouragement to women’s self-help groups.
Dr. JP, however, said that the Governor’s silence on the breakdown of law and order in the recent past as deafening. Andhra Pradesh might have been an investment destination in 2009 but the current breakdown in law and order is not a good portent for prospective investors. The Government rose to the occasion in providing immediate relief to October 2009 flood victims but miserably failed to address their issues of housing and land reclamation. The Government patted itself on the back for the growth in the agricultural sector in the previous five years but failed to appreciate that the sector is growing through a deep crisis. The decline in agricultural production despite massive debt relief and free power and other handouts underlined the magnitude of the problem.
Dr. JP said that the Government conveniently sought to attribute the economic downturn in the State to global recession ignoring its fiscal profligacy, the immediate cause.
The Lok Satta President regretted that the Government did not utter a word about combating mounting corruption, highlighted by the raids on an Assembly official and exchange of corruption charges by ruling and Opposition parties.
Although 2010 is going to be a year of municipal elections and 2011 of panchayati raj elections, the Government would not make even a cursory reference to empowering the third tier of Government. There was no thrust on skill enhancement and provision of livelihood opportunities despite the growing unemployment.
Similarly, Dr. JP said, the Governor did not touch upon the acute power crisis the State is going through although unprecedented floods had filled the reservoirs. The Government refused to recognize that the health sector is in a shambles.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
The Andhra Pradesh Government Order No. 57 providing for constitution of ward committees and area sabhas contravenes both the letter and spirit of JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) guidelines, the Lok Satta charged today.
The JNNURM had stipulated formation of ward committees and area sabhas with requisite resources and responsibilities as a condition for release of funds to States.
Talking to the media, party leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao and Karthik Chandra said the Government had issued GO No. 57 more to fulfill a formality than to empower people.
While the JNNURM envisaged elected ward committees, the Andhra Pradesh Government planned nominated committees. Formation of area sabhas at the rate of one for every 5000 people without reference to geographical boundaries defies any understanding. The proposal to allocate 20 percent of the corporation budget for maintenance works of urban services is too meager.
The Lok Satta leaders recalled their party had fought the GHMC elections proposing formation of ward committees as virtual ward governments. The party promised a per capita grant of Rs.1000 to every ward so that the local ward committee could address local people’s problems with the funds at its disposal.
In contrast, the corporation nominated ward committees would be confined advisory role.
The Lok Satta demanded that the ward committees be elected, and an area sabaha constituted for each polling booth and a per capita grant of Rs.1000 be made to each ward.
The Lok Satta would resort to direct action if the Government did not make amends, said the party leaders.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Political Parties have to help Resolve the problem -Lok Satta on SriKrishna Committee terms (Telugu)
The terms of reference of the Srikrishna Committee on the political situation in Andhra Pradesh are on expected lines, commented the Lok Satta Party here today.
Political parties, civil society organizations, students and all other sections on either side of the great divide in Andhra Pradesh should create a conducive and harmonious atmosphere and help the committee study the problems and bridge the divide, the party said.
The committee based on its expertise will study and determine the facts in respect of development in all the regions of the State, ascertain the views of all sections of people and make its recommendations on resolving the conflicting demands for the formation of a separate Telangana State and preserving Andhra Pradesh as intact and united.
Talking to the media, party spokespersons Mr.Katari Srinivasa Rao, Mr. V.Laxman Balaji, Mr. V.Vijayender Reddy underlined that the committee is not a constitutional body or the creature of any law passed by Parliament. It can only make recommendations. The power to take any decision, however, vests with the Union and State Governments and Parliament and the State Legislature.
The spokespersons recalled that the Lok Satta Party has all along maintained that there is no alternative to a dignified dialogue for arriving at a permanent and just settlement to the problem, since the Government of India cannot concede the two demands simultaneously.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Against the backdrop of the Congress and the Telugu Desam parties hurling corruption charges against each other once again, the Lok Satta Party today demanded that the Government introduce a Bill in the budget session of the Assembly to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act to bring the guilty to book.
Talking to the media, party spokespersons Mr.Katari Srinivasa Rao, Mr. V.Laxman Balaji accused the mainstream political parties of indulging in hypocrisy in that they revel in exchanging charges of massive corruption against each other but collude with each other in preventing the creation of an effective mechanism to tackle the menace.
They recalled that the Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan had circulated a Bill to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act in June 2009 with stringent provisions but both the mainstream parties cold-shouldered it for obvious reasons.
Dr. JP’s Bill proposes that all members of Parliament and the State Legislature, and elected members of panchayats, municipalities, and municipal corporations be deemed as public servants and brought under the ambit of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The need to amend the Act has become more imperative now with the TDP and the Congress leveling charges against each other once again, sections of the media reporting that the Anti Corruption Bureau has been hamstrung in raiding some highly corrupt top officials, that politicians have grabbed vast tracts of Wakf land, and that a large number of top officials are guilty of irregularities in irrigation projects’ construction.
The Lok Satta leaders wanted the anti corruption laws to provide for:
- Seizure and forfeiture of property of corrupt public servants
- Establishment of special anti-corruption courts in each district
- Appointment of independent prosecutors drawn from judiciary
- Constitution of an independent anti-corruption agency functioning under the overall supervision of the Lok Ayukta and
- Integration of the working of the myriad agencies and mechanisms like departmental enquiry, Tribunal for Disciplinary Proceedings, Public Servants’ Inquiry Act, Commissionerate of Enquiries, Vigilance Commission and Lok Ayukta.
Lok Satta Party President will be addressing the students and faculty of the Kanpur and Chennai Indian Institutes of Technology on February 12 and 13.
He will be delivering a talk on the ‘Role of youth in contemporary Indian politics’ at Kanpur on February 12 and on ‘How educational institutions can contribute to societal change’ at Chennai on February 13.
Monday, February 8, 2010
The Government itself has to blame if the High Court has struck down four percent reservations for Muslims in Government jobs and educational institutions.
Talking to the media, party leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao and Ishaq Khan commented that a Government, which acted in haste, would have to regret at leisure. In its eagerness to earn political mileage, the Government provided for Muslim reservations without doing its homework.
The Lok Satta leaders said that reservations to the backward among minorities would be in order so long as the total percentage did not exceed 50 percent, the ceiling fixed by the Supreme Court. A scientific study should have preceded reservations for the backward among Muslims.
The party leaders wanted the Government to ensure that the High Court verdict did not harm the interests of Muslims who had already availed themselves of reservations in education and Government jobs.
The Lok leaders pointed out that reservations are not a panacea for backwardness, since they benefited only a microscopic section. Backwardness goes only when every child irrespective of its accident of birth in a certain caste or religion gets equal opportunities to realize its potential. Every child should have access to quality education, health care, livelihood skills, and employment opportunities. By awarding ten percent grace marks in competitive examinations to rural as also urban poor students, the Government would enable them to compete with their urban counterparts.
The Lok Satta Party held the State Government and the Greater Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad squarely responsible for the collapse of a building under construction in Narayanaguda in Hyderabad.
The authorities had encouraged licentiousness in building construction by introducing a scheme to regularize unauthorized constructions for a hefty fee, said Lok Satta leaders V. Laxman Balaji, V. Vijayender Reddy, G. Rajareddy, N. Ravinder, Dr. Panduranga Rao and Dasari Ratnam.
The Lok Satta leaders, who conducted a random survey in one street in Barkatpura, noticed that seven of the eight buildings under construction were unauthorized. Taking the media round the area, the Lok Satta leaders pointed out that the Government viewed the schemes to regularize unauthorized buildings and layouts as a source of revenue. As a result, builders indulged in constructions throwing all norms to the winds since the Government would regularize them for a fee.
They recalled that the Lok Satta had consistently demanded that the concerned authorities punish officials and builders responsible for such constructions, instead of house-owners. They also pointed out that the Andhra Pradesh High Court had directed the State Government in 1997 not to regularize buildings constructed thereafter. Yet the Government continued to regularize unauthorized buildings since it was not willing to forgo revenue. They demanded that the GHMC demolish buildings,which posed a threat to occupants and punish officials and builders responsible for them.
The Lok Satta leaders conveyed their condolences to the families of those killed in the Narayanaguda building collapse.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Lok Satta Party President Dr.Jayaprakash Narayan will be participating in a sit-in (Dharna) in New Delhi on Monday (February 08, 2010) demanding that the Government of India should devolve 7% of its revenue on Village Panchayats directly. If the demand is conceded, Panchayats all over the country will receive funds upto Rs.70,000 cr. annually.
The Rashtriya Swabhiman Andolan (RSA) is organizing the Dharna from 10-00 a.m. to 2-00 p.m. at Jantarmantar.
Govindacharya, the convenor of RSA, representatives of other organizations all over the country fighting for decentralization of powers and resources to local governments and Maharastra, Uttarpradesh chapters of Lok Satta Party will be taking part in the Dharna.
Friday, February 5, 2010
A Mahila Satta delegation today requested Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy to undertake police reforms as part of a plan to prevent crimes against women and children.
The delegation comprising Mahaila Satta President N. Saroja Devi, General Secretary K. Geetha Murthy and GHMC unit President T. Padmaja Rani wanted the Home Minister to implement the Justice Malimath Committee recommendations on improving criminal justice.
The Mahila Satta specifically suggested that abduction of women and children be treated as a crime warranting capital punishment. Crime perpetrators as also their instigators should be punished within 90 days. Criminal investigation should be shielded from political interference and forensic labs established in each district.
The delegation called on the Home Minister against the backdrop of the kidnap and brutal murder of a child, Naga Vaishnavi of Vijayawada.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today described Chief Minister K. Rosaiah’s proposal to hold municipal and corporation elections on a non-party basis as worth considering.
Talking to media personnel who called on him, Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said that political parties, which are supposed to fight on ideological lines and earn people’s good will and support, have thrown ideologies to the winds and are waging politics of hatred based on region and religion, caste and language. Against such a backdrop, one need have no objection to holding urban civic body elections on a non-party basis and more so considering that the focus in such elections is on local problems and not on ideologies.
Dr. JP suggested that the Government should also consider direct election to posts of municipal chairperson, mayor and their deputies, formation of people-elected ward committees and devolution of a per capita grant of Rs.1000 on each ward committee for addressing problems in wards.
Asked whether the Chief Minister mooted non-party elections to suit the ruling party, Dr. JP said he might have. The Lok Satta would, however, welcome any proposal that benefits people.