Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lok Satta to enter into local adjustments in panchayati raj elections

The Lok Satta Party will enter into local adjustments in the elections to panchayati raj institutions whenever they take place, according to a decision taken by the party’s Executive Committee here today.

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan and Working President D. V. V. S. Varma explained the rationale behind the party decision at the meeting.

Elections to the posts of president and ward members of a panchayt take place on a non-party basis. In villages in which the Lok Satta has a considerable vote base, it will back good candidates who agree to a common agenda of providing safe drinking water; a toilet for every household; effective garbage disposal; an institutional arrangement to monitor schools and health centres; and citizen’s charters for the Panchayat with penalties.

In return for the support it extends to contestants in the panchayat elections, the Lok Satta will seek their backing for its candidates in the MPTC and ZPTC elections. The Lok Satta will take the support of good candidates and in turn extend support to them irrespective of party affiliations.

Mr. Varma said that the Lok Satta Party would focus on victories, although in limited constituencies, even as it spreads its policies and programs all over the State.

Dr. JP said that the present atmosphere in the country has turned conducive the politics and policies the Lok Satta has been espousing. They include institution of strong and independent mechanisms to root out corruption, decentralization of power and empowerment of citizens, electoral and judicial reforms. The reforms would take place definitely, since none can roll back the process, which has begun.

The Lok Satta has earned admiration and appreciation from several quarters and built a base among farmers, youth and women. That the party has survived in a State, which has two deeply entrenched mainstream political parties and is the epicenter of disturbances over many issues is itself a miracle, said Dr. JP. However, it is not enough. The goodwill the party enjoys has to be converted into political strength by notching up victories in panchayati raj elections, he said.

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