Tuesday, March 30, 2010
By sanctioning an annual expenditure of Rs.113000 crore – which works out to an expenditure of Rs.312 crore per day -- without any debate, the Andhra Pradesh Assembly had badly let down the people who had elected them, charged the Lok Satta Party here today.
Commenting on the just-concluded budget session of the Assembly, Lok Satta spokespersons V.Lakshman Balaji, Vijayendar reddy and Rajareddy said legislators squandered away precious time in shouting at each other and disrupting the proceedings instead of engaging themselves in a healthy debate and exposing the Government.
Maintenance of public order, ensuring justice for all, and rule of law are the primary responsibilities of a Government. However, Andhra Pradesh Governments irrespective of the party in power have failed on all accounts. The ongoing communal disturbances eloquently testify to the failure of public order. Yet, modernization of police force does not find any mention in the Rs.113000 crore-budget. There are no proposals to constitute an independent crime investigation department or form local courts, facilitated by central legislation.
The Lok Satta leaders said the Government had not focused on fighting corruption. They referred to societies of women workers which look after sanitation in Greater Hyderabad and said there are a large number of bogus societies and benami workers. Officials and politicians siphon off a large chunk of the wages paid to workers.
The Lok Satta leaders said the Government had forgotten that poverty elimination is one of its primary responsibilities. The allocations are meager, systems inadequate and service delivery appalling. “The Government seemed to believe in corporatization of public responsibility and privatization of public exchequer going by its schemes to fund education of certain children in corporate schools and ensure health through Arogyasri.”
The pathetic state of infrastructure is evident in the miseries people and industry re going through because of power holidays and power cuts. Despite drought and floods during 2009-10, no funds have been earmarked for drought or flood-proofing of the State.
The Government believed in perpetuating poverty and turning people into beggars. Political parties believed in manipulating the poor cynically and systematically. “Poverty has become the currency of vote bank politics.”
The Government has failed to use the budget as a tool to restructure governance. Although the State is a huge beneficiary of central funds by way of share in taxes, grants in aid and Union Government-sponsored schemes, the State Government would not devolve powers or resources on local governments and empower people.
They pointed out that Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan would like to apologize to the people on behalf of all well-meaning legislators and on behalf of the party for betraying them by not discharging their duty as legislators.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Lok Satta party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today asked the police to put down communal violence ruthlessly and restore peace as soon as possible.
"The need of the hour is immediate peace restoration and not recrimination and finger pointing" said Dr. JP in a statement released to the media.
Continuance of the disturbances would rob youngsters of their peace of mind and disrupt their future at a time they are taking their annual examinations.
In addition disturbances will aggravate the miseries of the poor daily wage earners, who are already reeling under the impact of scorching summer heat, deteriorating drinking water supply and frequent power cut.
Dr. JP said he believed the police would act fairly and firmly and with a sense of urgency.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today appealed to the Bengaluru electorate not to be misled by the vilification campaign the BJP and other parties are indulging against it.
In a media statement, Lok Satta leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao and Mrs. K. Rama Lakshmi said that not reconciled to the Lok Satta earning people’s support by contesting five seats in the Bengaluru Municipal Corporation elections, its opponents were threatening the party contestants, lodging false complaints with police, disrupting is meetings, and spreading baseless rumors of Lok Satta candidates dropping out of the race.
The age-old trick employed by Lok Satta opponents is to accuse it of being in the race merely to benefit either the Congress or the BJP.
Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao and Mrs. Rama Lakshmi pointed out that the Lok Satta Party is the only party in the country which has openly stuck to the policy of not luring voters with any inducements like liquor and money. The party is contesting the elections as part of its drive to transform the political system in the country and not to help either the BJP or the Congress.
They hoped the intelligent Bengaluru voters would not be carried away by its opponents’ malicious propaganda.
The Lok Satta Party today charged the Government with having left rice producers to the mercy of rice millers. Rice millers have slowed down paddy procurement citing tardy levy collection by the Food Corporation of India and disruption to milling because of power holiday for two days in a week and power cuts on other days. As a result, farmers are forced to make distress sales in areas where millers are making purchases in small quantities.
Talking to the media, party spokespersons V. Laxman Balaji and P. Bhaskara Rao said farmers received only Rs.800 and less a quintal of fine paddy against the Rs.1030 minimum support price fixed by the Union Government.
The Lok Satta leaders pointed out that such a situation would not have arisen had the FCI ensured that its warehouses were cleared of produce which is not consumed in the State. In the alternative, the FCI should have resorted to open storage system in which it has experience and expertise.
The Lok Satta leaders underlined the need to decentralize procurement and storage operations on a large scale so that local requirements could be met from local storage points resulting in enormous savings in transportation costs.
The spokespersons pointed out that by directing the Civil Supplies Corporation to undertake procurement, the Government could ensure remunerative prices for agricultural produce. It should also work out a mechanism for advancing loans against produce stored even at farmers’ homes.
The Lok Satta welcomed the Government of India move to prevent criminals and anti-social elements from contesting in elections.
Monday, March 22, 2010
In a media release, party spokespersons V. Laxman Balaji and P. Bhaskara Rao said that violence had no place in a democracy.
The Lok Satta Party leaders pointed out that of late sections aggrieved over media reports had been targeting media houses and personnel for venting their ire. Such undesirable tendencies deserve to be condemned by all, they added.
Friday, March 19, 2010
The Lok Satta Party is contesting five of the 198 seats in the Bengaluru Municipal Corporation elections taking place on March 28.
It may be recalled that the Lok Satta party started its units in five States including Karnataka last year.
Talking to the media, party spokespersons Katari Srinivasa Rao and V. Laxman Balaji said here today that the party had selected highly educated persons with a track record of social service as its candidates.
The following are the divisions and the candidates contesting from them:
Your browser may not support display of this image. Vasantnagara: S. A. N. Ramakant (A mining engineer by profession, he has served to make Bengaluru a clean city)
Aramaninagara: Dr. Meenakshi Bharat (A gynecologist by profession, she has worked to rid electoral rolls of mistakes).
Rajarajeswari Nagar: Dr. Sanakara Prasad (An M. Tech from Khargapur IIT, he implemented an e-governance project in a Karnataka panchayat for the first time).
Mankenahalli: Prakash Balwade (A TV and stage artiste, he earned a national award for a Kannada serial)
Jayamahal: Dr. Balamani (A psychiatrist, she takes an active role in Red Cross social activities)
The party spokespersons said that the Lok Satta is contesting the corporation elections on the plank of ward governments.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today welcomed the Legislative Assembly adopting a resolution seeking deletion of Clause 14 (f) in the Presidential Order of October 1975.
Talking to the media, party spokespersons Katari Srinivasa Rao and V. Laxman Balaji recalled that it was only the Lok Satta Party which had advised the Government against going in for a review of the Supreme Court verdict when it convened an all-party meeting on October 19, 2009. TRS President K. Chandrasekhara Rao has gone public in praise of the Lok Satta stand.
Lok Satta President and legislator Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan also wrote to the Speaker seeking waiver of rules for introducing a resolution on deletion of Clause 14 (f) in the Presidential Order.
According to Clause 143 (f) of the Presidential Order, the zonal system would not apply to recruitment of police personnel in Hyderabad city. Once the clause is deleted, recruitment of police personnel up to a certain rank will be confined to local people.
The Lok Satta leaders counseled against fanning regional animosities on the issue. They recalled that during 2001-08, only local personnel were recruited for certain posts in Hyderabad.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Welfare schemes in Andhra Pradesh are so poorly designed and badly implemented that they have been merely perpetuating poverty, ill health, and indebtedness among the so-called beneficiaries, said Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan here today.
Talking to the media in the context of the Planning Commission’s reported indictment of Andhra Pradesh’s intolerable populist policies, Dr. JP said the criticism has not come a day too soon.
Dr. JP made it clear right at the outset that there can be no two opinions on the need for mitigating poverty and drudgery, alleviate suffering, averting starvation, promoting health and wellbeing and ‘empowering’ farmers. His only regret is that in the name of going to the rescue of the poor and downtrodden sections, the Government is mortgaging the future of the people for serving the short-term interests of the ruling party. It is tantamount to a hungry man feeding on own flesh or a farmer consuming seed meant for sowing for satiating his hunger.
Dr. JP cited the supply of rice at Rs.2 a kg and kerosene at subsidized rates, free power to farmers and the Aarogyasree scheme to underline his point that they could have been designed better to contribute to the welfare of the beneficiaries and wealth of the nation.
When Chief Minister N. T. Rama Rao launched the Rs.2-a-kg-rice supply scheme in 1983, the open market price of rice ruled around Rs.3 a kg. Today the price of rice has shot up to nearly Rs.30 a kg while the value of rupee has plummeted steeply. In other words, the Government is supplying rice at perhaps 50 paise a kg in real terms as 1983 prices, against the market price of around Rs.30. Almost 80 percent of families in the State have white cards even as lakhs of people complain they have been denied white cards. “This is nothing but a colossal failure of public policy.
Dr. JP said the State Government should identify the genuinely poor and make available food grains supplied by the Union Government through village panchayats. It could make cash payments to beneficiaries to ensure that they had access to rice at Rs.2 a kg.
Dr. JP said that criminal gangs are diverting more than 50 percent of kerosene supplied at subsidized rates for diesel adulteration. A bright engineer employed by a public sector oil company was brutally murdered when he sought to prevent diesel adulteration in Uttar Pradesh. He suggested that instead of subsiding kerosene supply solar LED lamps could be supplied at subsidized rates. Such lamps reduce dependence on fossil fuels, prevent pollution, and stimulate indigenous industry creating jobs instead of fattening criminal gangs.
Dr. JP said that unmetered free power supply to the agriculture sector has encouraged farmers to utilize scarce water for raising water-intensive crops and contributed to depletion of groundwater resources. That a farmer in Nalgonda district succeeded in striking water only after sinking 65 bore-wells spread over seven years and selling away 15 of his 24 acres underlined how free power is ruining farmers in the long term. In the short term, the farmer has to reckon with motors burning away because of low voltage power supply.
Dr. JP suggested that the Government impose a cap on free power a farmer can draw and charge regular tariff once he exceeds the ceiling. The Government could help the farmer better by opening agri clinics at the rate of one for every 3000 acres and supply technology and inputs and provide procurement, storage, and marketing support.
Aarogyasree again testifies to the State Government’s skewed priorities. It helps only 500 of the 20000 odd patients who are admitted to hospitals both in the private and public sectors in the State every day. All the others have to incur out of pocket expenditure. Aarogyasree with its focus on tertiary and super specialty care has enriched corporate hospitals even as it provided only a marginal benefit to a microscopic number of people. At one-tenth of the cost of Aarogyasree, the society stands to gain ten times more if the Government utilizes the money on preventive, primary and secondary care.
Dr. JP hoped that the State Government would mend its ways at least now and redesign subsidies better so that precious resources are properly utilized and the really deserving benefited.
Friday, March 12, 2010
If the Government goes ahead with liquor shop auctions as proposed in June, the Lok Satta Party will resist them peacefully, its leaders announced here today.
Talking to the media, Lok Satta leaders V. Laxman Balaji, V. Vijayendar Reddy, N. Saroja Devi said that the Government continued to turn a deaf ear to repeated representations from women’s and other civil society organizations to restrict liquor consumption considering that it has already ruined the lives of 75 lakh families in the State.
The Lok Satta leaders charged that the Government is shedding crocodile tears over the plight of the poor by planning “to make liquor available at Rs.35 a quarter bottle instead of at Rs.45 as at present with a view to reducing the financial burden on consumers and directing the staff not to shut down unauthorized outlets in villages to spare addicts the trouble of traveling to a licensed shop in the nearby mandal headquarters or town.”
The Government is expected to realize revenue of Rs.15000 crore by way of excise duty and sales tax, license fee for liquor shops etc. during the financial year 2010-11. The money it realizes is more than what it spends on free power to the agriculture sector, rice supply at Rs.2 a kg, scholarships and fee reimbursement to weaker section students, subsidized loans to farmers and self-help group women, pensions, and schemes like ‘Abhaya Hastam’ and ‘Arogyasree’.
The Lok Satta leaders appealed to people to realize that the Government is camouflaging itself as a welfare Government by launching a slew of schemes even as it is playing havoc with the health and finances of millions of people.
The Union Government, the Lok Satta leaders said, should direct and not merely advise the State Government to strip the Excise Department of powers to formulate policies concerning liquor consumption and entrust it to the Health and Medical Department since the former is interested in maximizing liquor consumption and not bothered about people’s health.
The Union Government should also come up with a policy to compensate State Governments for loss of revenue if they opted for restricting liquor consumption.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Top leaders of the Lok Satta Party, who met at the party headquarters today, expressed their profound grief over the death of Mr. N. Venkateswara Rao (79), father of Lok Satta Party President, Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan. They expressed their condolences to Dr. JP and his family members.
The recalled that Mr. Venkateswara Rao had been a pillar of strength and support to Dr. JP who quit the IAS to found the Lok Satta movement initially and the Lok Satta Party later to transform society and politics.
A number of party leaders left for Vijayawada to take part in the last rites of Mr. Venkateswara Rao.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The Mahila Satta today celebrated the passage of the Women’s Reservations Bill in the Rajya Sabha by distributing sweets and appealing to women to avail themselves of the historic opportunity to play a meaningful role in politics.
Mrs. N. Saroja Devi, State Mahila Satta President, recalled that although the Lok Satta offered to field women in a minimum of 33 percent of seats in the 2009 general elections, very few women came forward to contest the elections. There would not be any material difference in the situation unless women shed their aversion to politics. It is only through active participation in politics that society can be transformed, she added.
The participants, who included Vice President M. Mahalakshmi, adopted a resolution thanking all political parties for helping Indian women realize their 14-year-old dream. GHMC president T.Padmaja Rani, Gajanani, Y.Ramani, Sridevi are among the participants.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today refuted Revenue Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao’s claim in the Assembly that its President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan had commended the State Government for its relief and rehabilitation measures in the wake of unprecedented floods in River Krishna in October 2009.
Talking to the media, party spokespersons Katari Srinivasa Rao and V. Laxman Balaji said that on the contrary the Lok Satta Party President had charged the State Government with miserable failure in undertaking long-term rehabilitation measures.
They recalled that Dr. JP said both within and outside the House, that civil society organizations and the Government responded magnificently in providing immediate succor to flood victims. The Government, however, had not taken up either construction of houses or reclamation of sand-cast land. It had not initiated any measures to prevent flooding of powerhouses on either side of the Srisailam dam and to strengthen flood banks to withstand floods of the magnitude of October 2009. The Government had also not published a white paper explaining the inundation of Kurnool city.
The Lok Satta leaders regretted that instead of discussing issues of importance, ruling party and Opposition party leaders were indulging in one-upmanship to gain political mileage.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan welcomed the introduction of the Bill providing 33 percent reservation to women in the legislatures saying that a "flawed bill is better than no bill."
The passage of the Bill in the 100th year of International Woman's Day would be a tribute to Indian women and the visionary Constitution makers. It took centuries of struggle in Britain and decades in the U. S. for women to get the right to vote. In contrast, India is the first country in the world to ensure equal voting rights to women simultaneously on par with men irrespective of their region and language, religion and caste.
Dr. JP recalled that the Lok Satta along with like-minded organizations had prepared an alternative draft Bill as early as in 1998 plugging the loopholes in the UPA drafted Bill. The Lok Satta Bill provided for political parties fielding women in 33 percent of the seats.
Since there is now a general consensus on women's reservations, Parliament should adopt the Bill and make history, since "the impossible best is the enemy of the possible good."
Dr. JP hoped the entry of women in legislatures on a large scale would help redefine politics and promote better public discourse. "Politics today has become synonymous with criminalization, corruption and cronyism. It has become a matter of privilege, patronage and petty tyranny Public discourse is vitiated by abuse, invective and violence. The events in the Rajya Sabha on Monday were a testimony to the decline in public discourse."
Women legislators in large numbers, he hoped, would make quality education, health care, skills and livelihood opportunities as the fulcrum of politics and facilitate discourse based on mutual respect, evidence and logic.
Dr. JP cautioned that reservations to women are not a panacea going by women's reservations in local bodies. Although women constituted one-third of elected members in local bodies, there has been no change in their condition. "How can women be empowered if local bodies are not empowered with devolution of resources and powers", he asked.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
a lot of us wanted to fight against the corruption at various levels in the society, but did not take any action only because we were not aware whom to approach to stop that.
There are unlimited number of people who wanted to get their passports on time, gas connections on time with out paying extra more but finally ended up either paying some unnecessary amounts to unwated people or waited endlessly hoping to get things done soon.
Why do we wait with out any proper reason?
Why do we satisfy some corrupted people to get our things legally?
The one destination point for many queries. Please attend the session on 'RTI-(Right To Information Act 2005) Power In The Hands Of People. Atluri Subhashini - Loksatta is organising a session for guiding the people towards the development of a better society. Please confirm your registration.
Date : 7th March 2010
Time : 10-12:30
Contact : 9000766605 - Azeez
Venue : Community hall, Venakata Ramana colony, Panjagutta.
(Lane Beside Chevrolet Showroom, Road no:1, Banjara Hills)
Please find the below link for succes stories of RTI,
So, please be a part of it. Let us spread the awareness , let us work for a honest and better world.
Friday, March 5, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today welcomed the 13th Finance Commission conceding the Lok Satta proposal for the constitution of an Ombudsman to go into complaints of irregularities at the local government level, and allocating some funds directly to the third tier of government.
Talking to the media, party spokespersons Katari Srinivasa Rao, Bhisetty Babji and V.Vijayender Reddy said that as per the latest Finance Commission recommendations, Andhra Pradesh would get Rs.1,00,616 crore as its share in Central taxes and Rs.13,802 crore by way of grants in aid, in addition to funds under Centrally-sponsored schemes during the next five years. The devolution of funds from the Government of India per year would work out to nearly Rs.25000 crore a year.
The Lok Satta leaders underlined that the State Government, which received huge funds from the Government of India, should allocate a portion of its revenue to zilla parishads, municipalities, and other local bodies, which constitute the third tier of government. A per capita grant of Rs.1000 to every local body in the State would not cost more than Rs.8000 crore a year, constituting a mere 7 percent of the State’s 113,000-crore budget.
The 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution envisaged devolution of resources and responsibilities on local bodies. Instead of adhering to the letter and spirit of the amendments, successive State Governments in Andhra Pradesh have been preserving and promoting centralization of power, and emasculating local governments.
Against the backdrop of the State receiving munificent assistance from the Government of India, the State Government should not trot out any more excuses for denying local bodies a legitimate share in its revenue.
The Lok Satta spokespersons said the Finance Commission suggestion that the States introduce a separate budge for local bodies would be meaningful only if they part with funds to local bodies.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Welcoming the UPA Government move to introduce a Bill in Parliament to provide for reservations to women in legislative bodies, Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today suggested that the flaws in the Bill be removed if it were to be meaningful.
Talking to the media, Dr. JP pointed out that the Bill proposes reservation of one-third seats for women and the rotation of such reserved seats once in every general election. As a result, two-thirds of incumbents will be forcibly unseated in every general election. When male incumbents are forced out, they field their womenfolk as proxies and hinder development of natural leadership.
"Such compulsory unseating violates the very principle of democratic representation and jeopardizes the possibility of any legislator choosing a constituency and nursing it. When legislators do not have the incentive to seek re-election from the same constituency, politics will become more predatory and unaccountable. The Bill in its present form is silent about women's representation in the Rajya Sabha and Legislative Councils. In addition, the Bill warrants a constitutional amendment."
Studying all these, the Lok Satta had as early as 1998 presented an alternative for consideration by all political parties. It calls for an amendment to the Representation of the People Act making it mandatory for every recognized political party to field women candidates in one-third of constituencies. To prevent a party from nominating women candidates only in States or constituencies where the party's chances of winning are weak, the Bill proposes that each party should consider the State as a unit for fielding women candidates in elections to the Lok Sabha. In other words, a party has to field one-third of women candidates in every State. A party's failure to field the requisite number of women entails a penalty. For the shortfall of every woman candidate, the party cannot field male candidates in two constituencies.
The Lok Satta Bill proposes that for reservation of seats for women in a State Assembly, the unit shall be a cluster of three contiguous Lok Sabha constituencies. The Election Commission had endorsed the Lok Satta Bill, Dr. JP said.
Dr, JP said that the Constitution and the Representation of the People Act should be amended to provide for reservation of one-third of seats to women in the Rajya Sabha and Legislative Councils.
Dr. JP pointed out that political parties denied party ticket to women claiming their chances of winning an election were remote. Results in election after election have demonstrated that voters have no prejudice against women.
The Lok Satta Party today took strong exception to certain political sections making slanderous allegations against Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, its President, to divert people’s attention from their bankrupt thinking.
Talking to the media, party spokesmen Katari Srinivasa Rao and V. Laxman Balaji said that as a responsible politician and people’s representative, Dr. JP has been striving to harmonize conflicting interests on the Telangana issue in accordance with the Constitution. Unable to carry on a debate based on facts and logic, his detractors questioned his integrity.
The Lok Satta leaders recalled that when a controversy erupted over Hyderabad being a ‘free zone’ for purposes of police recruitment and postings, Dr. JP told an all-party meeting that a solution lay in getting Clause 14 (f) of the Presidential order deleted and not in approaching the Supreme Court.
The Lok Satta leaders pointed out that TRS President K. Chandrasekhara Rao acknowledged that it was only Dr. JP who spoke the truth while all others backed the Government decision to approach the Supreme Court.
Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao and Mr. Laxman Balaji reiterated the Lok Satta’s consistent stand that the formation of a Telangana State would neither be a catastrophe nor a panacea. Only people’s empowerment through genuine decentralization of power and provision of quality education and health care, livelihood skills and employment opportunities would serve people in all regions of the State.
They said that although democracy and the Constitution provided for resolution of all problems in a peaceful manner, some political parties are fueling hatred among people of different regions for partisan political ends. They hoped that a settlement acceptable to all regions of the State would be hammered out through a realistic debate and dialogue.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today took strong exception to the indecent personal remarks Mr. Etela Rajender, TRS leader, has made against party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan.
“A politician resorts to rabble rousing when he is ignorant or refuses to take cognizance of facts, or when he realizes his arguments are shallow and devoid of sincerity.”
Talking to the media, party leaders V. Laxman Balaji, G. Raj Reddy, V. Vijayender Reddy and Dr.Panduranga Rao recalled that the Lok Satta has never defended regionalism. On the contrary, it has always studied an issue placed facts before the public. Thanks to centralization of power and corruption, people in all districts of the State continue to remain economically backward. Handloom weavers lead miserable lives whether they happen to be in Chirala in Coastal Andhra or Sircilla in Telangana and there is little difference between the migration of people in search of work and livelihood from Mahbubnagar in Telanana and Srikakulam in North Coastal Andhra.
The Lok Satta leaders pointed out that any discussion on backwardness in different regions of the State should be based on facts and figures compiled by organizations like the Statistics Department in Andhra Pradesh, the Central Statistical Organization, the National Sample Surveys, and the Census, and not through baseless allegations.
The Lok Satta would welcome a debate on backwardness in different regions of the State by associating national and State-level experts. The Lok Satta would place the facts it was collecting before the public soon, they revealed.
The Lok Satta Party, they said, wanted an amicable settlement to the present political crisis in the State based on facts and would wholeheartedly welcome any outcome. The party has, however, no illusions that any settlement resulting in the State’s bifurcation or the continuance of the united State would resolve people’s problems. A real solution lies in empowering people through decentralization of power via formation of district governments and ensuring quality education and health care, livelihood skills and employment opportunities to all.
The Lok Satta leaders wanted TRS leaders to behave with dignity and decency and in accordance with the Constitution and to stop slinging mud at a leader who won the election to the Assembly without inducing voters with money and liquor and has been responsible for far-reaching reforms in governance in the country.