Monday, August 30, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today asked the Government to empower the TTD Specified Authority to preserve and protect the sanctity of the devasthanam and render better services to common people by eliminating corruption and utilizing every paisa devotees offer to the God.
The Government had so far winked at widespread corruption in the TTD as it had turned it into a political rehabilitation center, said Mr. D. V. V. S. Varma, party’s Working President in a media statement. The Government should expiate its sins at least now by ceasing to play political games.
Mr. Varma said that institutional mechanisms utilizing modern technology should be in place to prevent and eradicate corruption. A thorough inquiry should be instituted into reports of missing gold coins, diamonds and jewelry. The authority should cancel the arjitha seva tickets booked in advance up to 2030 and their issuance afresh through a secure online system. Corporate houses should be asked to build their modern cottages and guesthouses on hills farther from the temple so that common, middle class pilgrims, who constitute the majority, did not suffer for want of accommodation. The Government should stamp out mafias smuggling in liquor and meat atop the hills with political support.
Mr. Varma suggested that the Specified Authority take steps to allocate 50 percent of the temple’s revenue towards education and health care and constitute health and education mission for utilizing the funds. Temples in districts too with huge incomes should promote educational and health care institutions, he said.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
The Makkal Sakthi Katchi (MKS) (meaning party of people’s power) today became the Lok Satta Party in Tamil Nadu by formally merging with the latter.
Formally launching the unit, Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan called upon the middle classes and the media to shed cynicism, overcome despair and join the Lok Satta Party which is providing an ethical, political platform to transform Indian politics. “It is time the best and the brightest shouldered the responsibilities of leadership as in the days of the freedom movement and strove to make the country great. Let us not squander the present priceless opportunity.”
Dr. JP said that the country would be in grave peril unless it addressed seven grave challenges confronting the country today. He listed them as poverty, corruption, centralization, absence of rule of law, urban-rural divide, liquor and drug menace and divisions within society. The Lok Satta provided the right platform for the millions of people who are thirsting for change by addressing the challenges.
Most of the one-year-old Makkal Sakthi Katchi (MKS) members had been active in Makkal Sakthi Iyakkam founded by Mr. Udaya Murthy in 1988. They came out of the movement, founded the MKS and even contested in three by-elections to the Tamil Nadu Assembly in the last one year.
The average age of the members of the Tamil Nadu Lok Satta Party Executive is 32.
Lok Satta Party today condemned the students’ assault on Lecturers discharging their duties on the Osmania University campus. Lok Satta leaders Mr. G. Raja Reddy and Mr. P. Ravimaruth said in a statement that the incident mars the image of the prestigious Osmania University.
Recourse to physical assault is unwanted in a democracy. None in Telangana would support such instances of anarchy, they said.
Lok Satta leaders appealed to political parties, civil society organizations to behave responsibly and asked people of all regions not to succumb to passions.
The Lok Satta Party today expressed its profound grief over the sudden death of Hyderabad Archbishop Marampudi Joji.
Party Vice President Mr. Bheesetti Babji, General Secretary Mr. V. Laxman Balaji, Yuva Satta President Mr. D. Ratnam laid a wreath on the body of Archbishop Joji at St. Mary’s Church in Secunderabad.
In a media statement, they recalled that Joji always stood in the forefront in going to the assistance of people ranging from cyclone victims to child criminals. He promoted education and health care right from his Vijayawada days. He set an example to others by pursuing religion with a secular tinge.
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, who was in Chennai, conveyed his condolences.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today appealed to all political parties not to undermine the electoral process and demolish the credibility of the Election Commission of India by kicking up a controversy over electronic voting machines (EVMs).
Addressing the media, Dr. JP pointed out that the Election Commission is one of the few institutions which enjoy credibility. It has earned reputation by conducting free and fair elections by and large.
Referring to certain politicians’ contention that EVMs could be tampered with and poll outcomes rigged, Dr. JP said it was nobody’s case that any man-made machine is not vulnerable to tampering. After all an EVM is like any other machine which can be manipulated and fixed. The Election Commission has instituted fool-proof safeguards at various levels to protect the sanctity of elections and prevent any possibility of EVMs being tampered with. The important question, therefore, is whether EVMs are being tampered with during elections in real life situations..
He recalled that the Election Commission of India had offered to place EVMs at the disposal of Doubting Thomases for a month and challenged them to prove that they could be tampered with in the conditions in which elections are actually held. But none has chosen to accept the challenge so far.
Dr. JP pointed out that EVMs are subject to scrutiny at three stages – by officials before they are installed, by contesting candidates before elections and by their representatives on the day of polling.
Dr. JP recalled that the AIADMK led by Ms. Jayalalitha in Tamil Nadu and the Congress led by Mr. Amarinder Singh in Punjab had both sought Supreme Court intervention to stall the use of EVMs. In the elections that followed the Supreme Court’s dismissal of their petitions, both the parties swept the elections and formed Governments. In the latest instance, the TRS won the by-elections to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly which witnessed use of both EVMs and printed ballot papers in different constituencies.
Dr. JP charged that certain political parties are trying to explain away their failure to win the hearts and minds of voters with their policies and programs by blaming it on EVMs.
He appealed to the Maharashtra Government to release Mr. Hari Prasad of Hyderabad, who was arrested in connection with a missing electronic voting machine (EVM), and drop the case registered against him.
Dr. JP likened Mr. Hari Praasad, a technical coordinator for an NGO, Citizens for Verification, Transparency and Accountability in Elections, to a whistle-blower who wanted to improve the electoral system. He might have taken some ill-advised steps in the process but he harbored no ill-will against the Election Commission.
Victimizing Mr. Hari Prasad by the Maharashtra Government for his whistle-blower activity would be akin to arresting a reporter who offers a bribe to a politician or official as part of a sting operation.
Dr. JP said that the Election Commission officials lodged a first information report with the Maharashtra police about a missing EVM as early as in May 2010 and left the matter at that. The Maharashtra police arrested Mr. Hari Prasad at his residence in Hyderabad as a follow-up to the complaint. In this whole episode, the Election Commission acted with commendable restraint, dignity and probity.
Dr. JP announced that the Lok Satta Party would extend legal aid to Mr. Hari Prasad. He said that the Foundation for Democratic Reforms will take the initiative to organize a national workshop by involving all the stakeholders including Election Commission officials and experts in electronics to dispel misgivings over EVMs once and for all.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Tamil Nadu unit of Lok Satta Party has been formed in the name of Makkal Sakthi Katchi and has been functional since last 1 year. The State steering committee of Lok Satta Tamil Nadu, which is a collective body of leaders governing the Tamil Nadu unit comprises of young professionals, entrepreneurs, students and experienced former bureaucrats.
After 1 year of laying the foundation, the TN Lok Satta team ( Makkal Sakthi Katchi) is all geared up, to publicly launch the party on the coming Saturday, 28th August 2010 at:
Venue : Anita Matriculation Higher Secondary School
5/6, Ritherdon Road,
Vepery(Behind YWCA on Poonamallee High Rd),
Chennai – 600007
Date : Saturday, 28.08.2010
Time : 4 - 8 PM
I along with the executive committee of Lok Satta and my colleagues in the state units of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh take this opportunity to call upon you to attend, participate and strengthen the hands of the Lok Satta Tamil Nadu team. Being young at heart and fired up by passion, the TN Lok Satta team has demonstrated commitment towards strengthening the democratic process, empowering fellow citizens in obtaining their fundamental rights and rallying for public interest issues to restore people's faith in the democratic process in Tamil Nadu. With all of your participation and support, we are confident that the young, dynamic and vibrant TN Lok Satta team will advance in the TN political arena and create a clean, refreshing and promising political environment in Tamil Nadu.
I once again urge you all to participate, support and donate generously to encourage the young band of leaders, some of whom have given up an otherwise lucrative job for carrying forward the mission of Lok Satta's, “New Politics for a New Generation” in Tamil Nadu.
Please visit Tamil Nadu Lok Satta's website www.loksatta.org/TN (Tamil Version : www.makkalsakthi.net)
The leaders of the State steering committee of TN Lok Satta are counting on your support and they can be reached at 09840618948 and 09150040092.
With warm regards,
Founder & National President - Lok Satta Party
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Postponement of elections to municipalities and municipal corporations is unconstitutional and unwarranted, the Lok Satta Party told the State Government today and demanded that it arrange elections before September- end when they are due.
In a letter to Chief Minister K. Rosaiah, Lok Satta Party Working President D. V. V. S. Varma said postponement of elections on the pretext of undertaking BC’s enumeration for reservation purposes would not wash. Governments in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, and West Bengal had entrusted the Election Commission with the responsibility of finalizing reservations and delimitation of wards. In contrast, the Andhra Pradesh Government retained those powers to defer elections for short-term political gain whenever the need arises. “Deferring elections and foisting official rule runs counter to democracy, and the Constitution.”
Mr. Varma revealed that the Government had deliberately refrained from spending Rs.4000 crore on works in municipalities with an eye on spending it on the eve of elections to reap political mileage for the ruling party.
Mr. Varma also demanded that the Government restore the ideal, demoractic practice of direct election of municipal chairpersons and mayors prevalent prior to 2005. Indirect elections result in horse-trading, defections, and unlimited corruption later on. He suggested that the State Government take the initiative to reserve 50 percent of the seats in civic bodies to women, as contemplated by the Union Government.
Mr. Varma said that the State Government was lax in transferring powers, resources, and personnel to civic bodies, and in formation of ward committees as per the law enacted two years ago. He wanted the Government to decentralize administration by forming ward committees and empowering them.
Mr. Varma told the Chief Minister that the Lok Satta proposals are in accordance with the proposed amendments to the Constitution and the recommendations of the second Administrative Reforms Commission.
Mr. Varma disclosed that the response to the Lok Satta call for people’s sit-in at municipal offices seeking elections on time evoked response beyond the party’s expectations. According to information received until 4-00 p.m., the dharna took place at 62 municipal offices, including corporations.
Lok Satta President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan took part in the dharna at Ongole. Zonal in-charge leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao took part in the dharna at Ongole, G. Raja Reddy at Nizamabad, P. Ravi Maruth at Khammam, Bandaru Ramamohana Rao at Zaheerabad and Y. D. Rama Rao at Kakinada. State leaders V. Laxman Balaji, V. Vijeynder Reddy, and Mahila Satta and Yuva Statta leaders took part in the dharnas at different places.
Monday, August 23, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the Government celebrate Telangana Liberation Day officially on September 17 since integration of Telangana with the Indian Union was a continuation of the country’s freedom movement.
Addressing a media conference, party leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao and Eeda Chennaiah recalled that both Maharashtra and Karnataka celebrate September 17 as Liberation Day in the districts which were under Nizam’s rule earlier and became part of those States following the States’ reorganization. “None should ignore that September 17 was the day when the country was really united.”
September 17 should be an occasion to introspect to what extent the present day leaders sought to realize the dreams of those who fought for the Nizam State’s liberation and union with India. “We don’t know what happened to the children of Sardar Patel who integrated the princely States with the Indian Union. We do not know the inheritors of K. M. Munshi and Vellodi who served as Governors of the Hyderabad State. The children of Burgula Ramakrishna Rao, the first Chief Minister of Hyderabad, did not live off their father’s reputation. Even the children of Mahatma never ran after office. Raj Mohan Gandhi became an MP in his own right and not as a Mahatma Gandhi scion. In contrast, present day politicians viewed politics as a means to enrich themselves and further the growth of their children and grandchildren and not to serve the public. It is such politicians who are mortgaging the country’s freedom and not left wing extremists or terrorists. The Telangana Liberation Day should inspire every one to work for uprooting the politics of loot and plunder and dynastic rule and ushering in people-oriented politics.”
The party leaders announced that Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan would take part in a sit-in at the municipal office in Ongole as part of the party’s program to organize demonstrations at all municipal offices on August 25 demanding elections to urban civic bodies on time. The party’s demands include direct election to the positions of municipal chairpersons and Mayors, elected ward governments, and corruption-free rule.
It is odd that lawmakers plan to enact a law that benefits only them, said the Lok Satta Party today on the demand for a hike in MPs’ salaries.
It would be in the fitness of things if the 15th Lok Sabha cleared a hike in pay and perquisites for members of the 16th Lok Sabha. There is such a precedent in the U. S. President Clinton signed the law that provided for a hike in the salary of the next incumbent.
In a media statement, party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao said that the demand for a higher salary by MPs is understandable. Expecting elected representatives to spend out of their pocket is not proper. At the same time, salaries should not become a source of income. Instead, they should earn income through some honest means.
The real issue, however, is not MPs’ salaries. Scores of MPs do not need any salary at all since they happen to be millionaires. Apparently, only those who can spend millions of rupees can step into legislature portals these days. Democracy faces a grave threat if one can enter legislature only with the help of money and not on the strength of one’s policies and programs. When a majority of people goes unrepresented because of the influence of money, the divide between the rulers and the ruled widens and triggers unrest. The MPs should focus on such disturbing developments, instead of only on their salaries.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan will be taking part in an International Student Entrepreneurship Conclave -- ‘Conquest’ -- being organized by Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) on August 21.
Dr. JP will be addressing students drawn from across the country on ‘Role of policy making and governments in Enterprenuership’ at 2-00 p.m.
Through the event, BITS plans to spread the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst best technical minds in the country.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today took serious exception to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation proposal to raise property tax by 30 percent.
In a media statement, party leader Katari Srinivasa Rao pointed out that there is no point in the corporation raising the property tax further when it has not been able to render service for the tax it is already collecting. The breakdown of all kinds of services like roads, drainage, drinking water, and sanitation witnessed in the last few days following a heavy spell of rain testifies to the quality of corporation services to taxpayers.
The Lok Satta leader said the corporation could save huge amounts if it arrested misappropriations in maintenance and development expenditure, and earn huge revenue if it brought all commercial and residential properties under the tax net.
Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao demanded that the corporation devolve its powers, responsibilities and resources on democratically elected ward committees and ensure that the citizen’s charter is implemented.
The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the Union Government ascertain public opinion before introducing the Mines and Minerals Bill in Parliament in the context of widespread and growing agitations against exploitation of mineral wealth in areas inhabited by Scheduled Tribes and others.
Addressing the media, party Working President Mr. D. V. V. S. Varma said persons being displaced or deprived of livelihood by mining activity should be adequately compensated, given a share in mining companies’ profits and provided alternative sources of livelihood. The Government should simultaneously ensure that no harm befell the environment because of mining.
Mr. Varma demanded that mines should not be leased indiscriminately leased and illegal mining condoned. The Government should focus its attention on promoting national interests and preserving environment in the proposed legislation.
Mr. Varma regretted that the Supreme court did not find anything wrong in the Tamil Nadu Government’s decision to distribute color television sets to 33 lakh poor families. Government money should be utilized to better people’s lives and not to influence their voting behavior. One need not be surprised if parties promise free gold necklaces to women on the eve of elections. Luring voters with color TV sets or money or liquor violates the election code.
Mr. P. Bhaskara Rao, Secretary, took part in the media conference.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the Government divert available fertilizer stocks in the State to dry land farming areas, crack its whip on business people who have jacked up prices and officials who colluded with them.
Talking to the media, party leaders Bandaru Ramamohana Rao and V. Laxman Balaji said the Government had failed in anticipating the demand for fertilizer in the context of copious rains and arranging for its timely supply. For instance against a requirement of 12,682 tons of urea in Medak district in August, only 200 tons had been supplied.
The leaders pointed out that taking advantage of the situation the traders had started charging Rs.100 more per bag of urea, besides marketing adulterated stuff and insisting on lifting of complex fertilizers.
It was tragic that farmers had to field their school-going children to stand in lines and subject themselves to police lathi charges for buying a bag of urea.
The Lok Satta suggested a systemic solution to the chronic fertilizer scarcity problem. The Government should strengthen the mechanism to conduct soil tests and recommend appropriate fertilizers besides micro nutrients for application. Establishment of agri-clinics at the rate of one for every 3000 acres for supply of inputs and provision of technical guidance and routing of fertilizer subsidy to farmers instead of manufacturers will go a long way in addressing the problem.
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan will be addressing some 5000 students of diverse colleges in Mumbai on Thursday, August 19, 2010.
He will be addressing on provision of quality education to all and the role of youth in transforming the system.
The address has been arranged as part of ‘Malhar’ festival at St. Xavier College, Mumbai. The address will be followed by a question & answer session.
Monday, August 16, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the Government invoke the Prevention of Corruption Act and punish the guilty, who caused losses to the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation in its deal with Emaar.
Talking to the media, party leaders V. Laxman Balaji, P. Bhaskara Rao and Mrs. S. Manorama said that going by media reports a number of officials and politicians seemed to be involved in the deal.
The Government should amend the Anti Corruption Act to include legislators among public servants and facilitate seizure of tainted properties.
The Lok Satta leaders pointed out that the Government seemed to be bent upon enriching a few at the expense of the public exchequer, going by deals struck by the AP Mineral Development Corporation and the APIIC.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Lok Satta Party Working President Mr. D. V. V. S. Varma today called for resurrecting the values of the freedom movement to take our country forward.
Addressing a gathering after hoisting the national flag on the 64th Independence Day at the party headquarters, Mr. Varma recalled that people displayed tremendous unity during the freedom struggle by setting aside their religion, caste, region, and language. Gandhiji viewed politics as a noble endeavor in people’s service. He fought for people’s empowerment through ‘gram swaraj.’
Mr. Varma regretted that post-independence, politics has strayed away from values enshrined during the freedom movement. The country faced a threat to its unity and integrity because of animosities and conflicts rooted in religion, caste, region, and language. People’s lives have become miserable because of over centralization of powers and monumental corruption.
Mr. Varma said the Lok Satta Party had come into existence to usher in ethical and rational politics anchored in nationalism, secularism, democracy.
Lok Satta, Mahila Satta, and Yuva Satta leaders including V. Laxman Balaji, S. Manorama, P. Bhaskara Rao, Bandaru Rammohana Rao, Eeda Chennayya, N. Saroja Devi, K. Gita Murthy, Y. Ramadevi, and Mangala took part in the program.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today called upon all thinking people to join hands transcending their differences to root out the seven scourges plaguing the country, make India great and prosperous and realize the freedom fighters’ dreams.
In a message on the eve of the 63thrd anniversary of Independence, Dr. JP recalled that despite many flaws, Indians could legitimately be proud for preserving the unity and integrity of the country, maintaining freedom and democracy and strengthening federalism in a diverse and complex country.
‘What is more heartening is that for the first time in nearly three centuries, India has been back on the road to economic prosperity for the last two decades. If we do the things mandated by the Constitution and for which freedom fighters staked their all, we have the potential to make up for all the lost opportunities and make India a super power in the next two decades in which everybody enjoys equity and justice.”
Dr. JP said that at least seven scourges are hobbling India’s potential for growth and greatness. They are:
- Growing inequalities and abject poverty
- Persistent tendency to divide people on grounds of caste and religion, language, and region
- Ever widening rural urban divide resulting in depopulation of villages and choking of towns and cities
- Monumental corruption
- Over centralization of power and enfeeblement of people
- Absence of rule of law
- Alcoholism and drug abuse
Dr. JP asserted that we have the capacity to bring about a fundamental transformation in the nature of politics, build the nation and enjoy the fruits of freedom. For that, people must shed their ‘me first attitude’ and facilitate public good. Political parties, civil society organizations and the idealistic youth should join hands in this noble endeavor.
Friday, August 13, 2010
The Lok Satta Party said today that State party leader Ravi Maruth has given an explanation to the party on the allegation of land grabbing hurled against him in a newspaper report.
Mr. Ravi Maurth pointed out that Dwansalapuram Major Canal which passes between Khammam municipal area and Khanapuram Haveli has remained a dead canal for the last one decade. People have encroached upon the canal area since 2004-05. Since the school, of which he is the correspondent, owns land on either side of the canal, it fenced the area, developed a green belt and safeguarded it from encroachments. In 2005 itself, the school requested the District Collector to allot the site to the school, offering to pay the market rate for it.
Giving this information in a statement, party spokespersons Katari Srinivasa Rao and V. Laxman Balaji said that a Lok Satta team will visit Khammam to ascertain the facts. The party will not hesitate to take action against Mr. Ravi Maruth if he is found guilty of any irregularities.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the Government ban acquisition of double crop land for establishment of thermal power plants, special economic zones, and industries, a thorough review of the Land Acquisition Act and appointment of a quasi judicial authority to decide on the land needed for various industries.
Briefing the media on the decisions taken by the party’s State Working Committee during its two-day deliberations, Mr. Bhisetty Babji, V. Laxman Balaji. G. Raja Reddy and Narra Sridhar wanted the Government to abandon its bid to promote a thermal power plant at Sompeta and immediately return to farmers the lands already acquired from them.
The Lok Satta recognized the need for establishing industries and power plants for economic development. However, the decisions should not be taken unilaterally and imposed on people. Industries that harm the environment and people’s health should be established only after remedial measures are in place. The monetary compensation paid to farmers should exceed the market value of the property acquired. In addition, the displaced farmers should be given shares in the industry and a member of their families be trained and given a job. Compensation should be extended not merely to those who part with their land but also to others who depend on land for their livelihood in the form of housing and alternative livelihood opportunities.
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, President and Mr. DVVS Varma, Working President, presided over the meetings.
In a resolution, the party demanded that municipal elections be held on schedule since their postponement under some pretext or the other is unconstitutional. The party sought direct election to the posts of chairman and mayor and resolution of people’s problems through elected ward committees. The party will organize demonstrations at all municipal offices on August 25 to reiterate its demand.
The party criticized the Government for its failure to ensure availability of fertilizers to farmers even after the onset of sowing. It wanted the Government to strengthen the bunds of the Krishna and its tributaries on a war-footing since floods of the October 2009 magnitude would result in heavy loss of life and property. It decided to continue its agitation against Government’s excise policy which is ruining people’s lives by promoting liquor consumption.
The Working Committee session was underway even at 5 p.m.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today called upon the party rank and file to strengthen the organization with redoubled vigor since there is absolutely no alternative to the party to change the country’s politics. There are innumerable people all over the State and the country who are fed up with present day politics and are thirsting for change. The Lok Satta should serve as a platform for all of them, and not as the property of its members.
Addressing the party’s State Working Committee, Dr. JP said the challenges the party faced in its mission to transform the nature of politics are formidable. The cadre should realize that the Lok Satta is fighting for a historical transformation of India. This transformation needs collective effort, humility and long-term perspective. “We must set our course by the twinkle of distant stars, not by the heights of passing ships,” Dr. JP said.
Dr. JP underlined that the Lok Satta’s model is different from that of traditional parties. People in other parties may shine with money, ostentation and pomp and media coverage but in the Lok Satta the members need to have basic knowledge of public issues, and leadership qualities to awaken the people and mobilize support..
The Lok Satta President called for inspiring party cadres with its stream of thought, continuous training, and strengthening of the organization. Municipal elections whenever they are held will provide an opportunity for the party to spread its wings.
Local campaigns for direct elections in municipalities and empowerment of people at the ward level by transferring Rs.1000 per capita directly should be the corner-stone of party activity in urban areas. There should be an intense village-wise campaign to make people understand what is possible if politics is transformed through ‘Palle Velugu’ program.
He called on the party to mobilize people at the State-level on the two issues of implementing Phase III of the Krishna river water scheme for Hyderabad and safeguarding the entire Krishna basin region from catastrophic floods like those witnessed in October 2009.
Mr. D. V. V. S. Varma, State Working President, presided over the two-day meeting. It is discussing the current political situation in the State and the tasks before it.
|Administrative & Establishment Expenses||8,295,482|
|Promotion & Propagation Expenses||485,414|
|Greater Hyderabad Campaign Expenses||9,988,501|
|2009 Assembly Election Campaign Expenses||15,472,169|
|Excess of Income over Expenditure||10,179,956|
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today requested Chief Minister K. Rosaiah to scrap the Godavari drinking water project and take up Krishna Phase III scheme to meet the drinking water needs of Hyderabad city.
It also asked him to take up on an emergency basis a project to prevent loss of life and property in the Krishna basin, in the wake of the unprecedented floods the river witnessed in October 2009.
A Lok Satta Party delegation, led by its President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, called on the Chief Minister at the Secretariat and explained that tapping the Godavari at Yellampalli for Hyderabad’s drinking water needs is risky, costly, and time consuming. In contrast, the Krishna Phase III scheme has a dependable water source in Nagarjunasagar, can be executed fast, and costs only a fraction of the Godavari’s scheme.
The delegation drew the Chief Minister’s attention to the precarious drinking water supply position in Greater Hyderabad city and surrounding areas. While the current demand for drinking water in GHMC area is 300 mgd, the present water supply capacity is 330 mgd. Of the 330 mgd maximum water available, 180 mgd comes from Krishna river, thanks to the execution of Krishna Phase I and Phase II schemes.
The delegation wanted the Chief Minister to take up Phase III of the Krishna water scheme. Costing about Rs. 600 crore, it will augment the water supply by about 90 mgd (5.5 TMC). It can be completed within 12-15 months. Even if 135 mgd is drawn, the cost will be about Rs. 900 crore, or about 25% of the Godavari scheme.
The Godavari drinking water supply project taken up in 2007-08 proposes to draw 8 TMC (135 mgd) of water from two km upstream of the Yellampalli barrage. Costing Rs. 3375 crore, the project involves 196 km of pipeline, and four- stage pumping and one stage gravity and lift involving 506 meters. The Godavari project will take at least 5 to 8 years and perhaps longer because of delays in Yellampalli barrage construction. So far, even the land has not been acquired for the barrage and pipeline. For Krishna, a large reservoir of 400 TMC capacity exists at Nagarjunasagar, and pipelines have already been laid in two phases.
The delegation pointed out that Yellampally cannot be depended upon for drinking water. Yellampally is downstream of Sriramsagar project, and upstream of the confluence of the Pranahita with the Godavari. The yield below Sriramsagar, up to Yellamaplly is estimated to be only about 23 TMC with 75% dependability. On the basis of 95% dependability, the yield at Yellampally is only 8.75 TMC in good years. At 100% dependability, the yield at Yellampally is practically nil. In case of Nagarjunasagar, the dead storage of the reservoir itself is about 90 TMC, and there is assured availability of water round the year even in lean years.
The Lok Satta leaders suggested that the yield of Yellampally barrage be utilized for irrigation in the neighboring areas with small lifts.
Dr. JP drew the Chief Minister’s attention to the Union Government’s offer to provide Central assistance for strengthening the Krishna river bunds and requested him to send a detailed project report for assistance. The Union Government had made the offer in response to Dr. JP’s representation to the Prime Minister.
Dr. JP said that the Krishna witnessed a flood of 25 lakh cusecs in October 2009 whereas the bunds were designed for a flood of only 10-11 lakh cusecs. As there was significant additional storage capacity in Nagarjunasagar reservoir then, much of flood flow could be accommodated in the reservoir. Yet, the Krishna breached its right bund in the Repalle- Bhattiprolu area in October 2009.
Strengthening the flood management capability, in Krishna River and its tributaries, including bund-strengthening and structural improvements to facilitate a maximum flood discharge of 25 lakhs cusecs is vital to ensure the safety of about one crore people of Kurnool, Mahabubnagar, Guntur, and Krishna districts.
The delegation included Party leaders DVVS Varma, Katari Srinivasa Rao, Y.D. Ramarao, V. Vijayender Reddy, G. Raja Reddy, Bhisetty Babji, and V. Laxman Balaji, P.Ravimaruth, Mrs.N.Saroja Devi, Mrs.D.Lakshmi.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Lok Satta’s Quit India Agenda
The Lok Satta Party observed the Quit India anniversary today by calling for a movement to rid the country of the four evils of poverty, centralization of power, corruption, and liquor -- all of which are inter-related.
Addressing the media, party President Dr.Jayaprakash Narayan said that the fruits of Independence and tremendous economic development have eluded the overwhelming majority of people because of systemic ills plaguing the nation.
"We have to battle the four evils today unlike in the past when we had to fight only the British. Only a relentless and united struggle by all sections of people will help us fight these evils and usher in true Swaraj."
Although the British left the country more than six decades ago, their legacy of centralization of power continues to flourish. Pointing out that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, Dr.JP said that Chief Ministers all over the country have become modern day monarchs and bureaucrats their handmaidens. Local Governments have become irrelevant as they are denied powers, resources, and personnel to serve the people who elected them.
He recalled how Mahatma Gandhi faulted Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu for accepting a gift of Rs. one lakh on his birthday and said there are hundreds of leaders who have looted crores of rupees of public money unabashedly.
Dr. JP said the rulers irrespective of the party to which they belong have mastered the art of perpetuating themselves in power by ensuring the poor remained poor by drowning them in liquor to undermine their capacity to fight for a better future.
"This is not the Independence that Mahatma Gandhi dreamed of and for which tens of thousands of people had struggled for decades."
Dr.JP underlined that Governments could not eradicate poverty by throwing crumbs like rice at Rs.2 a kg. People have to be made self-reliant by making available quality education and health care, skill enhancement and livelihood opportunities to every one without any discrimination based on the accident of birth in a certain caste or class, region or religion. Instead of following such an agenda, successive Governments have been using liquor not merely as a source of revenue to the exchequer but also as a weapon to mute people's protests against poverty and destitution.
Dr.JP demanded that local Governments be treated as the third tier in Government with devolution of powers, resources and personnel as envisaged in the 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution. Such devolution of powers and responsibilities would help bring down if not eliminate corruption.
The Lok Satta in association with retired Vigilance officials and journalists will fight for a Constitutional amendment for devolution of powers on local Governments and strengthening laws and mechanisms to end corruption.
Dr.JP renewed his call to all thinking persons concerned about the future of their children and the country to transcend their political differences and join hands to usher in new politics. "We have the potential to grow into a super power. We can however realize our potential only when we transform the nature of politics."
In reply to a question, he suggested that the Government constitute an independent authority to deal with land acquisitions.
Mr. D. V. V. S. Varma, State Working President, announced that the State Working Committee would meet on August 11 and 12 to discuss the crisis in State politics and formulate its strategy. Mrs. N. Saroja Devi and Mr. P. Rambabu, Mahila Satta and Yuva Satta leaders respectively took part in the media meet.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan will be addressing the young students in Mumbai at 13:00 Hrs on Thursday, 19th August 2010. The address will be followed by question & answer session.
The 32nd annual three day event ‘Malhar’, being organized by St. Xavier College is attended by more than 5000 Students of diverse Colleges in India.
In his address to students, Dr. JP will be focusing on the role of the youth in Politics by giving them an insight as to how deep the malaise is in our political system and lack of public accountability, whether there are any islands of hope, and how the status quo can be changed and the need to launch second freedom struggle.
Friday, August 6, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today faulted the Government for failing to anticipate the swine flue outbreak and taking preventive measures.
In a media statement, Lok Satta Party leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao and V. Laxman Balaji said the Government should have promoted awareness among vulnerable sections like pregnant women, diabetics, and asthmatics and undertaken the vaccination program.
Healthcare workers in Government hospitals are reluctant to handle swine flu cases while private hospitals, huge beneficiaries under the Arogyasri program, are turning away patients.
The Lok Satta leaders voiced concern over the outbreak of diseases like malaria and dengue especially in Scheduled Areas.
They wanted the Government to wake up at least now, take measures to prevent further spread of swine flu, strengthen health care facilities in the public sector, and make private hospitals partners in the war against communicable diseases. The Government should launch a publicity campaign to educate the people on preventive measures and allay their anxiety over treatment.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
India is adrift. Worrisomely adrift. This is not because of any widespread social unrest or destabilising economic problems. Discontent in society there certainly is. Grievances due to the country’s unbalanced economic growth there certainly are and they are mounting. But the lack of direction is primarily due to the stagnant state of Indian politics. There is no soaring sense of purpose, fresh vitality and inspirational energy visible in any segment of the political spectrum, including in the two main national parties — Congress and BJP. Making matters worse for the country is their growing mutual antagonism, which is set to create a storm in the monsoon session of Parliament.
Discussing the state of regional parties is unnecessary in this context because, significant though they are in their respective states, they do not critically determine the health of national politics. Discussing the state of the two communist parties is also not pertinent here. Their national footprint and influence have both shrunk enormously, mainly due to the fossilisation of their ideology. Their future looks bleaker than the present. The socialist movement, once a persuasive voice and a powerful factor in Indian politics, has all but vanished. Can there be a sadder commentary on its disappearance than the near-total absence of a suitable commemoration, in 2010, of the birth centenary of its greatest leader, Dr Rammanohar Lohia? How effortlessly we have forgotten one of the most original political thinkers in independent India.
What is truly worrisome is the state of the two national parties. Outwardly all seems well with the Congress and the government it heads. UPA II is stable. Dr Manmohan Singh has become the third longest occupant of the office of Prime Minister. Not a small achievement. It is also a tribute to the quickly acquired political expertise of Sonia Gandhi. Her authority is unlikely to be challenged by anybody within her own party, something which was not true even in the case of Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. However, in spite of all these pluses, the calm in the Congress and its government is suggestive of stagnation, not the strength, self-confidence and sagacity needed to take the nation forward, rapidly and in the right direction.
Efforts of UPA II to normalise relations with Pakistan are leading nowhere, mainly because of India’s overdependence on American mediators. Pakistan’s shrewd rulers are trying to strike their own anti-India bargain with the US, stuck as the latter is with its needless and hopeless military occupation of Afghanistan. India’s gains in normalising the situation in the Kashmir valley, which were the outcome of the farsighted efforts of both Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Dr Singh (in UPA I), have been largely frittered away by UPA II due to inattention. There is lack of consensus within the Congress and the government on how to deal with the menace of Maoism. And there is no big and enthusiasm-creating action to walk the government’s laudable talk on inclusive development. This cannot be done, as ample examples from history caution us, merely by launching yet another poverty alleviation programme by spending thousands of crores of rupees. What is needed is firm and sustained action against corruption, inefficiency, unaccountability and bureaucratic insensitivity, which are responsible for the abysmal failure of most government-funded anti-poverty schemes. Besides distorting India’s development, corruption is also poisoning the very lifeblood of India’s democratic institutions, including the judiciary. Sadly, there is no real and credible outrage over corruption in Political India. The BJP’s recent conduct in Karnataka and Jharkhand shows that it has no energy or intent left to retrieve what was once its biggest USP: its attempts at probity in public life.
There is a dichotomy today between India’s stagnant politics and vibrant society. The vibrancy and vitality are most visible in India’s young population — not only the rich but also the poor, not only in urban areas but also in villages. However, the political and governance establishment seems woefully unresponsive to their aspirations and ambitions. This is evident from the fact that no political party is articulating the agenda of thorough-going political and governance reforms, without which all talk of “inclusive development”, “social justice”, “education and health for all”, “zero tolerance towards terrorism and Maoism”, etc. are meaningless. The only party that is talking about political reforms, with specific ideas, is Lok Satta in Andhra Pradesh, led by Dr Jayaprakash Narayan. It is still small and struggling, but nevertheless a ray of hope.
India today needs not just new leadership, but new morality-based politics. This new politics will have to discard old habits of conduct and old ways of thinking, which have compelled even the good people in our parties to become prisoners of myopic and sectional considerations. It should muster the courage and understanding needed to fight corruption, and thereby reinvigorate all the institutions of democratic governance. It must eschew misuse of government agencies for partisan ends. It should also be committed to creating national consensus on all major national challenges, including the two inherited from history — disputes with Pakistan and China — which are sapping India’s energies and hindering its rise in Asia and the world.
Is new politics possible? Remember, stagnation is always an invitation to start new attempts.
Courtesy: Indian Express
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the Government scrap order No. 723 unconditionally and move towards a ban on public drinking altogether.
Talking to the media, Lok Satta Party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao and Mahila Satta President N. Saroja Devi ridiculed the claims of Chief Minister K. Rosaiah and Minister Botsa Satyanarayana that the GO would not lead to a proliferation of bars.
The latest GO provides for permitting bars based on the 2001 census. With the decennial census now under way, which will see a spurt in urban population, bars will sprout like mushrooms in the coming excise year.
Demanding that the Government ban public drinking, the Lok Satta leaders pointed out that drinking is bad but public drinking is worse. Public drinking is resulting in permissive behavior, disturbing public order and tranquility, leading to accidents and crimes against women and children, promoting binge drinking and pauperization for want of restraint by the family.
The Lok Satta leaders said that the Government, which viewed liquor as one of its main sources of revenue, is even planning to permit sitting rooms attached to liquor outlets for a fee.
Unfortunately, leaders of the ‘sara‘ (sampradaya rajakeeya) parties, far from fighting the drink evil, have themselves become liquor vendors to promote their personal fortunes and party prospects in elections.
The Lok Satta would like all parties to transcend their party differences and join hands as the struggle against liquor is going to be long term and arduous.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
The Union Government is prepared to consider grant of assistance to the Andhra Pradesh Government for strengthening the Krishna river bunds.
Mr. Mullapally Ramachandran, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, conveyed this to Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan in response to his representation to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh during his visit to Hyderabad on October 9, 2009. Party leaders Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao and Mrs. N. Saroja Devi gave the gist of the communication received from the Union Minister at a media briefing here today.
Underlining the need for strengthening the Krishna river bunds, Dr. JP informed the Prime Minister that the river witnessed unprecedented flood of 25 lakh cusecs in October 2009 whereas the existing bunds had been designed and constructed to withstand floods of 10-11 lakh cusecs only.
The Union Minister informed Dr. JP that the Union Government would consider assistance if the State sent a detailed project report on strengthening the bunds. If the scheme is techno-economically viable, the Union Ministry of Water Resources would consider it for Central assistance.
In response to Dr. JP’s suggestion that a National Disaster Relief Force be stationed at multiple locations, the Union Minister disclosed that a battalion of the National Disaster Response Force would be located at Vijayawada.
On Dr. JP’s suggestion that hydel power generation units be flood-proofed, the Union Minister said that a committee of experts has drawn up specific recommendations and they will be communicated to States.
The Union Minister suggested that the State Government may constitute a standing committee of experts if felt necessary for flood monitoring and coordinated efforts at mitigating losses since flood control falls under the purview of States. He said a Central Water Commission officer stationed at Hyderabad could be included in the committee.
On Dr. JP’s suggestion that an expert committee be formed to study the climate change pattern in India, the Union Minister said that the Union Ministry of Water Resources has already constituted a Standing Committee of experts to assess the impact of climate change on water resources.
The Lok Satta Party leaders appealed to the State Government to shed its complacency, get funds from the Government of India and complete rehabilitation measures speedily. They wanted the Government to undertake clearance of sand-cast lands and make them fit for cultivation once again.
They pointed out that the Lok Satta had almost completed the works it promised in the four flood-affected villages adopted by it. It completed construction of classrooms in a school at Kesavaram in Mahbubnagar district, a protected drinking water scheme at Pulathota in Kurnool distrct, and a community hall at Oleru in Guntur district. The lift irrigation scheme taken up at South Chiruvolu Lanka is nearing completion.
Monday, August 2, 2010
The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the Government drop its move to defer the elections due to municipalities and municipal corporations, and cooperative institutions. trotting out lame excuses.
In a media statement, party General Secretaries Katari Srinivasa Rao and V. Laxman Balaji said that postponement of elections ran counter to democratic and constitutional principles.
The Government would be violating the letter and spirit of the 74th amendment to the Constitution if it deferred municipal elections. Apparently, it would not like the ruling party to face the electorate especially after the rout it suffered in the by-elections to the Assembly from the Telangana region and turmoil within the party. It, therefore, was trying to find excuses like the delay in enumeration of backward class voters and the move to raise reservations for women to 50 percent for deferring the elections.
The Lok Satta leaders said that keeping civic bodies under officials’ rule instead of elected persons was undemocratic. They said they would mobilize public opinion in favor of elections on schedule.
The Lok Satta Party would like the elections to be held even on non-party basis but on schedule. The Party demanded that Chairpersons of Muncipalities and Corporations be elected directly.