Thursday, June 28, 2012

Present crisis an opportunity for Transforming politics: Lok Satta

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today called upon party leaders to turn the present political crisis in Andhra Pradesh into an opportunity for building up the party as an alternative to traditional political parties. The Lok Satta Party should emerge as an asset of the nation and not as Dr. JP’s private property, by building up leadership through democratic organizational elections.

People expect a lot from the Lok Satta Party. It may be difficult but not impossible to fulfill their wish, said Dr. JP and added the party should demonstrate that ethical politics can be pursued with success.

Addressing the party’s State Working Committee, Dr. JP pointed out that the trend of throwing sops at public and looting public resources, which began in 1971 has reached its nadir in Andhra Pradesh in 2012 and is spreading throughout the country. In the recent by-elections to the Assembly and the Lok Sabha, the people did not realize that the money looted by politicians belonged to them; and short term sops are no substitute to education, skills, dignity and income.

Referring to the magnitude of corruption in Andhra Pradesh, Dr. JP cited the instance of a contractor abandoning a drinking water project as he had to part with 15 percent of the project cost as bribes to each leader of the Congress, TDP and YSR Congress. The common man has not realized that he is losing because of political corruption.

Dr. JP said that going by the latest by-election campaign trends, a prospective candidate in the Assembly election will have to spend at least Rs.10 crore. The Lok Satta Party cannot compete with traditional parties in making electoral gains by hoodwinking voters. It should try to win the hearts and minds of voters by presenting an alternate agenda and a plan of action. The Lok Satta through its movement against ban on paddy movement outside the State has enabled farmers to gain by at least Rs.1500 crore by way of higher prices.

Dr. JP said that the Lok Satta would hold its head high and work to resolve people’s problems with a plan of action, unmindful of the by-election results. He said the party would focus its attention on issues like proportional representation in elected bodies, corruption, empowerment of people, liquor menace, education, healthcare, farmers and electricity.

“Lok Satta stands on the right side of history. We are fighting for the rights of the younger generations. Eventually, the only sane solution to our political crisis in India is the path of ethical politics, national public policy, human development to give opportunity to every child, and accountability of all public servants. We have the challenge of making people realize that private gain and public good must go hand in hand” Dr.JP said.

One vital task for the party is to make it a truly democratic instrument for political participation of every citizen. David Cameron, Angela Merkel, Tony Blair and Barack Obama were concerned citizens who had ideas and vision. Their respective countries have political parties which allowed them to pursue their vision, convince their party members and citizens, and they emerged as leaders shaping the future of their societies. We have no such opportunity for citizens in India. Lok Satta should give democratic space for every citizen to grow as leaders and influence public and the course of history. Toward that end, the party will conduct democratic elections at every level, and new leadership will be in position by the end of the year. Dr JP appealed to all youth to take this as a challenge and opportunity and grow as leaders to shape events.

Dr. JP asserted that the Lok Satta has decided to work with Left parties to accomplish vital national goals like proportional representation, and build a viable, ethical, practical alternative to traditional parties in AP.

Party Working President D. V. V. S. Varma introduced a paper on the political situation in Andhra Pradesh for discussion.

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