Friday, March 30, 2012
ఉద్దేశపూర్వకంగానే చివరిరోజున అసెంబ్లీకి కాగ్ నివేదిక. సభాసంఘం విచారణ పరిధిలోకి తేవాలని లోక్ సత్తా డిమాండ్
The Lok Satta Party today charged the Government with presenting the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report on gross irregularities in land allocations deliberately on the last day of the Assembly's budget session with a view to avoiding a discussion.
In a media statement, Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan disclosed that the CAG had submitted the report on Government land allocations between 2006 and 2011 several months ago.
Dr. JP faulted the Government for its indifference to allegations of corruption and irregularities in land allocations and treating it as a matter to be looked into by the Supreme Court or the CBI. The State Government is duty bound to order an inquiry, identify officials and people's representatives guilty of either indulging in corruption and irregularities or abetting them, and initiate action against them. Instead, the Government is turning a blind eye to unbridled loot of public resources and indirectly licensing corruption.
Dr. JP recalled that the Lok Satta Party and other Opposition parties had exposed in the Assembly how the Government sacrificed public interest in land allocations. The CAG report has merely confirmed their charges by adducing additional evidence.
Dr. JP demanded that the CAG report be brought under the purview of the proposed House committee to review land allotments.
The Government should announce a land and natural resource allotment policy anchored in transparency, competition and public interest. It should not give scope for loot of natural resources in future, Dr. JP added.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
By inference Mr. Chandrababu conceded that a party in power which amassed illegal money had no problem in squandering it in elections, pointed out Lok Satta Party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao in a media statement.
The TDP, given to distributing illegal money in sachets, feels outsmarted by the YSR Congress, which doles out money in bags. Mr. Chandrababu seems to be pouring out his agony over the YSR Congress and the Congress Party now in power spending huge amounts in elections.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that those who sow the wind reap the whirlwind. If Andhra Pradesh has become notorious for splurging black money in elections, Mr. Chandrababu Naidu is one of those who have to share the blame. That all traditional parties including the TDP spent Rs.70 crore in the recent by-election to the Kovur Assembly seat is an open secret. Cash worth millions of rupees was seized from a TDP leader's residence. Media reports talked of the traditional parties spending up to Rs.200 crore in the seven by-elections to the Assembly.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao recalled that no traditional party including the TDP has so far responded to the Lok Satta call for abjuring distribution of money and liquor in elections. If Mr. Chandrababu is sincere and serious, he should join hands with the Lok Satta Party for cleansing the political and electoral system.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao appealed to media and civil society to ponder wherefrom parties like the Congress, TDP and YSR Congress raised money for holding meetings and rallies, and distributing money and liquor during elections.
Monday, March 26, 2012
The Lok Satta Party today appealed to youth to fight for formation of a separate Telangana State constitutionally and not resort to suicide.
Conveying the party's deep condolences to the families of Bojya Naik and Rajamouli, who ended their lives in the Telangana cause, Lok Satta Party Working President D. V. V. S. Varma appealed to all political parties to discuss the issue in the legislature and not exploit it for gaining publicity and political mileage.
Mr. Varma pointed out in a media statement that the Lok Satta has all along suggested that the Legislature arrive at a solution acceptable to all after a thorough debate. Unfortunately, both the ruling and Opposition parties have been evasive on the suggestion.
The Lok Satta would like legislators to discuss the issue keeping in mind the aspirations and fears of people of the two regions, work out a solution and make their recommendations to the Union Government. The Congress and the Telugu Desam Party should take the initiative and exert pressure on Delhi towards resolution of the problem.
Mr. Varma said that Telangana would not have become a running sore resulting in youth ending their lives had politicians behaved responsibly.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan will be touring Krishna and West Godavari districts on Sunday, March 25.
He will be inspecting Eluru, Dosapadu and Ryves canal modernization works at Gannavaram at 11-00 a.m.
He will be interacting with farmers on the Polavaram irrigation project at CR Reddy Public School in Eluru at 3-00 p.m.
He will be taking part in a party workers' meeting at 7-00 p.m. in Eluru.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Conveying his greetings to people on the eve of Telugu New Year, Lok Satta party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today hoped that ‘Nandana’ at least will herald a fundamental change in the nature of politics and makes it relevant to people’s lives.
In a media statement, Dr. JP pointed out that while people are dreaming of a bright future, politics is reminding them of the bitter past. While people want to soar to great heights, politics is dragging them back to middle-ages by denying young people opportunities. There is thus a disconnect between people and politics.
Dr. JP said that the situation can be retrieved because Indian youth are adventurous, innovative, confident and idealistic. They are building a new world unrecognizable to the earlier generation. They are the great source of our hope in future, he added.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said today that the by-elections to the seven Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh demonstrated that the people rejected the status quo but were not looking for an alternative. They roundly rejected the Congress and the Telugu Desam which between them have ruled Andhra Pradesh for three decades.
In a media statement, Dr. JP pointed out that the Lok Satta Party earnestly attempted to convey its message and sought people's support for its agenda in the form of votes. "The political polarization in the State is so intense that there is no space for rational voices or ethical politics now."
Unfazed by the election outcome, the Lok Satta will do its utmost to protect democratic values.
"Nothing short of a miracle can prevent Andhra Pradesh from becoming the saddest example of decline in politics. Decades of cynical politics, corruption, intense polarization and power without purpose have led to a grave crisis.
"But miracles do not happen on their own; they should be made to happen. That is possible only when saner elements in all parties and concerned citizens including middle classes, women and youth introspect over the parlous state of politics and join hands to reverse the process. The election results should serve as a wake up call", added Dr. JP.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
సా.రా. పార్టీల ప్రభుత్వాలతో అంటగాగింది కమ్యూనిస్టులే. విధానాల ప్రాతిపదికనే మేం వ్యవహరిస్తాం: లోక్ సత్తా
The Lok Satta Party today refuted CPI MLA Kunamneni Sambasiva Rao's charge that it goes to Government's rescue whenever it is in trouble by deflecting the subject under discussion. The allegation mirrors his bankruptcy of ideas and politics, said Lok Satta Party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao in a media statement.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao said the Lok Satta is a principled party whereas the Communist parties are opportunistic. They chose to have a piggy ride on the Congress and the TDP to win a few seats in elections instead of trying to build a third front. They had enabled the Congress and the TDP to entrench themselves deeply and turn the State into the epicenter of corruption. Even during the current discussion on corruption in the Assembly, the CPI legislator is equivocal. In contrast, the Lok Satta has demanded that the guilty to whichever party they belong should be punished and a strong and independent Lokayukta be constituted to prevent corruption.
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, Lok Satta's lone representative in the Assembly, who has been addressing every issue keeping public interest in mind, does not need anybody's certificate, said Mr. Srinivasa Rao.
The Lok Satta Party drafted a Bill to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act as early as in 2009 and circulated it among all parties. The Congress and the TDP which claim to be wedded to eradicating corruption are today feigning ignorance of the Bill. The Bill provides for constitution of special courts, independent prosecution, and exemplary punishment including forfeiture of ill-gotten property of the corrupt.
If the CPI is sincere, it should stop indulging in rhetoric and join the Lok Satta in getting the Bill discussed and passed by the Assembly, Mr. Srinivasa Rao said.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Lok Satta Party today (March 19,2012) requested the Chief Electoral Officer to order independent investigation into the inducements offered to voters in the recently concluded bye-elections to the A.P Assembly.
The following is the text of the representation made by V.Lakhman Balaji, State General Secretary of Lok Satta Party, to the CEO...
The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Andhra Pradesh
Election Commission of India (ECI)
Secretariat ‘H’ Block
Sub: recently concluded bye-elections in AP –menace of large-scale vote-buying, offer of inducements, etc. recurred – ECI’s seizures of cash and materials – need for exemplary action against guilty parties and candidates - reg.
We commend the Election Commission of India (ECI) in general, and the AP Chief Electoral Officer (CEO)’s office in particular, for its proactive role in intercepting, seizing and confiscating cash, liquor and such other material inducements being transported for and distributed among voters during the recently concluded bye-elections. As a result of the above efforts (as reported widely in the media), a total of Rs. 9 crores in cash and 90,566 litres of liquor were seized which would have otherwise been directly deployed to bribe voters and unduly influence their electoral choice. As per the same media reports, a total of 30 cases too have been booked by the security personnel against the offenders. Your office itself has revealed that it had received numerous and credible complaints of blatant bribing, vote-buying, etc. Such instances of vote-buying and liquor distribution along with quantified ‘going rate’ for each vote by the traditional parties too have been unambiguously and prominently reported in print and electronic media (available in public domain).
However, such seizures of unaccounted for cash, liquor and other such material inducements intended to bribe voters are not new phenomena. Crores of rupees in cash have been seized, thousands of bottles of liquor have been confiscated, material inducements intended to bribe voters have been intercepted by the ECI during previous elections too. Cases too have been booked by the ECI in such cases.
Evidently, these are all instances of highly corrupt electoral practices and therefore blatant violations of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 that are intended to unduly influence the electoral choices of voters and materially alter the outcome of elections. Needless to say, these violations are highly deleterious to the primary objective of the ECI to conduct free-and-fair elections.
We wish to emphasize that in previous instances where ECI has caused the booking of cases against offenders transporting and distributing cash, liquor and other material inducements to bribe voters and cases have not resulted in their timely and duly comprehensive conviction with imposition of statutory punishment. Consequently, traditional political parties, their candidates and political leaders who have encouraged and caused such widespread electoral offences and corrupt practices continue to operate unhindered. Once elections are conducted and results declared, these widespread offences are apparently neglected and not pursued. Clearly, such a casual and topical approach is neither sustainable nor desirable.
We therefore urge you to:
Order for a thorough, comprehensive and independent investigation of all cases and especially the most recent ones of seizure of unaccounted for cash, liquor and other material inducements intended to bribe voters. The sources, political operators, transportation couriers, political parties and candidates involved in the above electoral offences should be clearly and unambiguously identified. If necessary, the ECI should cause for such a probe to be taken up by a reputed and independent crime investigation agency such as the CBI.
Vigorously pursue those cases related to corrupt electoral practices booked against offenders towards securing timely and due punishment to the offenders.
Independently, the ECI can take proactive punitive and exemplary measures against the complicit parties and candidates. The Indian Constitution gives the ECI adequate mandate and powers to achieve this necessary objective.
The ECI must take up the above steps on an immediate basis towards ridding our election process of widespread corrupt practices and help serve the cause of free-and-fair elections.
V. Lakshman Balaji
State General Secretary,
Lok Satta Party
Power at any cost has become the norm in Andhra Pradesh going by the campaigning in the just concluded by-elections to seven Assembly seats, commented Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan here today.
In a media statement, he pointed out that Mahatma Gandhi and B. R. Ambedkar would be turning in their graves if they noticed how political parties regarded power as the only goal to plunder public resources and did not bother about the means they adopted to accomplish their objective.
Dr. JP said that while Gandhi and Ambedkar believed that unworthy means can never produce worthy ends, today’s leaders believed that all means are worthy if they get into power even at the cost of the future of the new generation.
The Congress and the Telugu Desam Party, which have ruled Andhra Pradesh for the last three decades, have to share the responsibility for the decline in public morality and political culture. People’s revulsion and wrath against the two mainstream parties is so predominant that they want to bury them without thinking of an alternative. The traditional parties which are trying to replace them, unfortunately, have imbibed their culture.
Dr. JP said that the recent political trends should serve as a wakeup call to all well meaning citizens interested in protecting democracy and the State’s future. The grave crisis calls for deep introspection. As Bihar and UP are showing improvement and becoming examples of a resurgent India, AP is symbolizing decline and decadence undermining India’s progress and the future of our children.
Dr. JP said that neither breast-beating over decadent politics nor viewing politics as an untouchable profession will improve matters. The best and the brightest in society, who are concerned over the precipitous decline in political culture, should utilize the Lok Satta Party as a platform to transform politics. The party welcomes people with character and integrity and leadership qualities to join in its mission for ushering in new politics for a new generation, he added.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Can clean politics ever succeed in bringing about a paradigm change in governance?
That is the subject matter of a brain-storming session the Lok Satta Party and other citizen groups are organizing in Mumbai on Sunday, March 18.
It may be recalled that Lok Satta Party fielded its candidates in the recent Brihan Mumbai Corporation elections.
Representatives of citizen groups including the Mumbai Nagrik Manch, Mumbai Nagriksatta and Lok Satta Party will take part in the two-hour session to review their election performance and chalk out the future course of action.
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan will be delivering the keynote address on 'Clean politics and future of political intervention,' and interact with participants.
The event is being held at Shri Chandulal Nanavati School in Vile Parle.
On March 17, Dr. JP addressed a group of professionals on the imperative of young people involving themselves in 21st century politics. Teach for India, an NGO, organized the program.
Friday, March 16, 2012
“In a country starved of excellence and world-class accomplishments, Sachin Tendulkar’s extraordinary feat is a much needed confidence booster,” said Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan here today.
In a media statement, Dr. JP pointed out that sports persons like Dhyanchand, Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid, Kapil Dev and Sachin tendulkar have had the most important influence in transforming a country shackled by centuries of foreign oppression into a self-confident modern India.
“Tendulkar and others have demonstrated that excellence is a combination of immense talent, life-long discipline, equanimity in the face of adversity and above all team spirit that rejoices in collective success,” said Dr. JP.
Dr. JP said that youth should realize that everyone is capable of success. What matters is discipline and relentless pursuit of success for the greater glory of our society, and not for undeserving accumulation of wealth by plunder or for individual greed at the cost of public good.
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today described the Union Budget as a mixed bag.
In a media statement, Dr. JP said that the Union Finance Minister has tried his best to rein in fiscal deficit by expanding the service tax net and increasing the excise duty and provide some relief to individual income tax payers. His conscious thrust on boosting infrastructure especially in sectors like coal and energy, although belated, is most welcome. Similarly, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee’s announcement of a series of anti tax evasion measures, and his promise to publish a white paper on black money and introduce legislation to plug evils like money laundering and benami property acquisition will help reduce black money generation in a growing economy, although they may not help in getting back the black money Indians stashed away in other countries.
Dr. JP, however, regretted that the Union Finance Minister did not attempt to tackle ills plaguing agriculture, education, healthcare, and job creation but contended himself with making marginally higher monetary allocations. The Union Finance Minister was long on rhetoric and short on action in addressing the crisis in the agriculture sector. There is not even a passing reference to promoting self-sufficiency in edible oils, considering that India is the world’s largest importer. There is no mention of imposing even a moderate customs duty of 10% on edible oil imports as a means to boost indigenous production or promoting export of agricultural produce or encouraging value addition and constricting the supply chain. Making available more credit to farmers at a lower rate of interest is welcome but it is not a substitute for rejuvenating agriculture and the Indian economy. Farmers need better markets, value addition, price stimulus to promote investments and export promotion. None of these has been addressed by this budget.
Farm sector is in crisis. Agriculture could be our trump card with right policies. Agriculture growth will stimulate rural economy and reduce poverty. You can protect consumers only when you stimulate production, and production can be boosted only by a price advantage. You cannot promote long-term growth by harming rural India and agriculture.
Dr. JP said that Mr. Pranab Mukherjee did not display any vision or unveil initiatives to improve education and healthcare. Even as the Prime Minister talked of increasing the national allocation to healthcare from the present one percent to 2.5 percent of GDP, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee confined himself to a marginal increase in the funds for the National Rural Health Mission and ignored the massive failure in the delivery of healthcare services. Similarly, the Union Finance Minister did not take cognizance of the falling standards of education and failures in implementation of sarva siksha and madhyamika siksha abhiyans. India is ranked 73rd among the 74 countries pervade in educational outcomes. For a fast growing economy with an ambition to be a world power, our school education is an embarrassment. The Finance Minister has not shown any inclination to look at outcomes in education and to promote delivery of services and accountability.
By making a token allocation for the National Skill Development Council, the Union Finance Minister washed his hands off tackling massive unemployment among youth. Millions of young people in India are getting marginalized in a growing economy. The budget has failed to address their needs.
Dr. JP said that every political party in the country should focus on boosting economic growth, ending corruption and promoting transparency and eradicating poverty and mitigating inequalities. All political parties are in the dock in not addressing them as of now, he added.
Dr JP Said, “We cannot end poverty and promote equity by pursuing populist policies and vote bank politics. We need quantum leaps in agriculture, education, healthcare and jobs”.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said the Railway Budget is disappointing in that it did not unveil any strategy to make Indian Railways the engine of economic growth.
In a media statement, Dr. JP pointed out that decades of neglect and years of populism have landed the railways in a crisis. Instead of building up reserves on investments made more than a century and half ago, the railways are today forced to borrow at high interest rates and turning projects unviable.
Railways have over the years lost the lion's share of cargo movement to roads. As a result, roads have come under enormous stress. Cargo movement on roads not merely results in higher fuel consumption but contributes to pollution and wear and tear of vehicles.
Dr. JP said that the railways have not paid adequate attention to urban public transport. The Railway Minister ought to have unveiled an innovative plan to integrate rail, road and metro transport in such a way that with a single ticket a passenger can move about in urban areas.
On the whole, Dr. JP said, the railway budget appeared to be an accountant's statement lacking in imagination.
Monday, March 12, 2012
The Lok Satta Party has raised certain questions over the Election Commission of India itself distributing identity slips to voters in by-elections to the State Assembly.
Hitherto, political parties or contestants used to distribute the identity slips which carry the name, voter number, and polling station details to voters.
In a representation to Mr. Bhanwarlal, Chief Electoral Officer, Lok Satta Party leaders P. Bhaskara Rao and K. Gangadhara Rao pointed out that distribution of voter identity slips in Kovur Assembly constituency is flawed. Election duty personnel are not distributing correct voter ID slips at voters' residences in some cases. The distribution is not being done either continuously or systematically holding out the prospect of some voters not receiving slips. Again, it is not clear whether election duty personnel will distribute identity slips on the day of polling.
The Lok Satta leaders said there is no clarity on whether political parties/candidates will be permitted to set up tables beyond the 200-meter boundary of a polling station on the polling day and issue voter slips. The Election Commission's ambiguity on the issue will result in dominant/entrenched candidates/parties setting up tables while other law abiding people are disallowed.
Mr. Bhaskara Rao and Mr. Gangadhara Rao also drew the attention of the Chief Electoral Officer to the perfunctory manner in which vehicles are being checked for unaccounted cash and other voter inducements at constituency border check-posts. Since vehicles are not being checked within the constituency, political leaders and agents of traditional parties have been offering material inducements in a brazen manner. He urged the Election Commission to step up scrutiny of campaign vehicles to prevent blatant subversion of the voting process.
According to the Lok Satta leaders, the Chief Electoral Officer appreciated the Lok Satta Party concerns and offered to provide clarifications.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan will be campaigning on behalf of Mr. Mohd Ghouse Moinuddin, the party candidate in the by-election to the Assembly from Mahabubnagar, on March 10 and 11.
On March 10, Dr. JP will be undertaking a road show in Mahabubnagar town touching Padmavathi Colony, Teachers' Colony, Seshagutta, DK Colony, Marlu, Christianpally, Boyannathota and Rajendra Nagar.
On March 11, Dr. JP will be touring Vepuru, Gundiyala, Hanwada, Boyapally, Thankara, and Kothapeta villages.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Commenting on the outcome of elections to five Assemblies, Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said that they reflected people's anger against paralysis in governance and widespread corruption. People are seeking corruption-free and effective governance.
In a media statement, Dr. JP today called upon national political parties to realize the political fragmentation under way in the country and initiate political and electoral reforms to restore people's confidence in the system.
He congratulated the Samajwadi Party, the Shiromani Akali Dal and other parties which won the elections.
Ban on cotton exports:
Dr. JP said that the Union Government ban on cotton exports is unacceptable since it plays havoc with farmers' lives. He called upon farmers to unite and fight the ban.
Dr. JP recalled that a majority of farmers who have committed suicide in the last one decade happen to be cotton growers. The latest ban will worsen their situation by depressing cotton prices.
Dr. JP pointed out that capricious Government policies lead to corruption and abuse of power.
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayana will be campaigning for party candidate Nellore Narasaiah in the Kovuru Assembly by-election on March 7 and 8.
Dr. JP will be visiting Inamadugu, Vidavaluru, Kodavaluru, Rajupalem and Kovuru on March 7, and Mypadu, Indukurupeta, Damaramadugu, Rebala and Buchireddipalem on March 8. He will be interacting with youth as part of the campaign.
A campaign committee headed by State party leaders D. V. V. S. Varma, Katari Srinivasa Rao, Bhisetty Babji and A. Ramesh Reddy is already on the job of taking the party election symbol 'whistle' to voters in the constituency.