Monday, April 30, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
లోక్ సత్తా అందించిన బలమైన లోకాయుక్త బిల్లుకు మద్దతిచ్చే దమ్ములేని తెలుగుదేశమా మమ్మల్ని విమర్శించేది?
"The TDP seems to regard the State as its fiefdom and people as machines meant to vote for it only," said the Lok Satta Party.
In a media statement, Lok Satta Party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao referred to TDP leader A. Revanth Reddy's charge and said it is ridiculous.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao recalled that it was Dr. JP who first drafted a Bill to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act as early as in 2009 and circulated it among all political parties. The Bill provided for constitution of a strong and independent Lokayukta, strengthening of the Anti Corruption Bureau, appointment of independent prosecutors and stringent punishment including confiscation of the property of the guilty. Far from taking the lead to get the Bill passed as requested by Dr. JP, the TDP has remained silent.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao pointed out that Dr. JP had forcefully argued in the Assembly against the Government gifting away thousands of acres of the coastline to certain industrialists and sought cancellation of such allotments.
The TDP, which is indulging in rhetoric on corruption, voted against the Lokpal Bill which also envisaged constitution of Lokayuktas in States and backstabbed Anna Hazare. It even stalled a comprehensive discussion on corruption in the Assembly.
Mr. Srinivsa Rao reiterated that there are no basic policy differences among the Congress, TDP and YSR Congress Party.
The Lok Satta Party is ready to work with even the TDP if it is committed to policies like eradication of corruption, decentralization of power, agricultural reforms, restriction of liquor consumption, proportional representation, provision of quality healthcare and education to all and job opportunities to youth.
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan will be delivering the Vavilala Gopalakrishnayya Memorial Lecture at 10-00 a.m. on Sunday, April 29 at Ravindra Bharati in Hyderabad.
The topic of Dr. JP’s lecture, being organized by Vavilala Samstha, is ‘Political leadership – yesterday, today and benchmarks for the next generation.’
Vavilala Gopalakrishnayya (1906-2003), a Gandhian and freedom fighter, represented Sattenapalli in Guntur district in the Assemblies of the Madras Presidency, Andhra State and Andhra Pradesh. He took part in agitations for the formation of Andhra Pradesh, construction of the Nandigama irrigation project and ban on liquor. He was also associated with the cooperative and library movements. He served as Chairman of the Prohibition Implementation Committee and the Andhra Pradesh Official Language Commission.
Friday, April 27, 2012
మద్యవ్యతిరేక పోరాట కార్యకర్తను, రైతు సత్యాగ్రహ నేతను పత్తిపాడు, ఎమ్మిగనూరు అభ్యర్థులుగా ప్రకటించిన లోక్ సత్తా
The Lok Satta Party today named candidates for two more seats in the by-elections to the Assembly on June 12, taking the total number of seats it is contesting to six.
Mrs. Jonnalagadda Jaya Bhagyam, a 57-year-old Dalit agricultural laborer from Pedagottipadu village, will contest from Pattipadu in Guntur district and Mr. Karanam Vasanta Kumar, a 37-year-old lawyer, from Yemmiganur in Kurnool district.
Mrs. Jaya Bhagyam was instrumental in getting the license of a liquor shop in the village's dalitwada cancelled by launching a movement for a year and half with Lok Satta Party support. In the process, she went on fast, courted jail and suffered lathi blows. In 2007, Lok Satta workers led by its President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan launched a 70-km padayatra from Pedagottipadu to Guntur on the liquor issue.
Mr. Vasanta Kumar played a prominent part in making Lok Satta Party's defiance of the ban on movement of rice outside the State a success when Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan led a padayatra from Yemmiganur to Gilkasugur in Karnataka.
Introducing the candidates at a media conference, Dr. JP said that the Lok Satta has chosen genuine leaders known for their sincerity and commitment, unlike other parties which field candidates with financial and dynastic credentials.
The party would be focusing on three issues primarily in the ensuing by-elections. It will be seeking a thorough overhaul of the liquor policy under which the Government alone will run liquor shops, an end to corruption through constitution of a powerful and independent Lokayukta and fair prices for agricultural produce through liberalization of the farm sector.
Dr. JP said that the Lok Satta Party and the CPI(M) would support each other in constituencies where they are not fielding candidates. He said the Lok Satta party looked forward to working with the Left parties on a long-term basis since they are on the same wavelength on many issues. The Lok Satta Party believes that all forces dedicated to clean politics, power to people and control of the liquor menace should come together and provide a viable alternative to politics of power brokers, corruption, casteism and cronyism.
He appealed to voters to realize that their future is in their hands in that they have the freedom to elect either competent and sincere people or corrupt and dishonest people as their representatives.
Party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao announced that Dr. JP will be inaugurating the party's election office and interacting with youth in Ongole tomorrow (April 28).
Party General Secretary V. Laxman Balaji, State Working Committee member J. Iramamurthy and the candidates from Pattipadu and Yemmiganur addressed the media.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
26th April, 2012
Dr Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
South Block, Raisina Hill
New Delhi – 110 001
Esteemed Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh ji,
Sub: Comprehensive strategy to make agriculture the engine of economic growth – Reg.
I am writing this somewhat long letter to seek your urgent and personal intervention to address the challenges facing Indian agriculture. In recent years, the farm sector is going through severe crisis. While input and labour costs have gone up significantly, prices of agricultural commodities at the farm gate have fallen. The food inflation we have witnessed an year ago was largely on account of perishable commodities like eggs, milk, meat, fruits and vegetables. Because of poor supply chain, inadequate storage and transport, and failure to process surplus commodities, there is enormous volatility in perishable commodities, especially vegetables. As a result small farmers and tenants are suffering fall in incomes.
This crisis is deepened by inconsistent and ad hoc government policies. The rest of the economy has largely been liberated from the clutches of license-permit-control-quota raj, thanks largely due to your stewardship of the economy in the crisis years of 1991-96. However, agriculture is still subject to arbitrary and unjustified controls. The input controls (fertilizer) are given up, albeit slowly, leading to rise in fertilizer prices. But output is subjected to severe controls, depressing prices.
Record volume of food grains are stored in the central pool. Half the grain is kept in open plinths covered with tarpaulin for want of storage capacity. In many states, even the food grains distributed in PDS are ‘recycled’, with PDS stock resold to traders, and in turn bought by FCI as ‘levy’. The arbitrage opportunities are making some unscrupulous traders rich at the cost of public exchequer. India has long-term surplus of food grains. Production is showing a secular, long-term growth, and percapita consumption is falling on account of shift to fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk and meat. And yet we have ad hoc policies on exports. For years, grain exports have been banned even as our grain stock is rotting. Thanks to your intervention, in late 2011, rice exports have been allowed. However quotas are imposed and ad hoc policies are pursued. Because of uncertainty and ad hocism, Indian rice is selling at less price than comparable Thai rice. Every other week there is threat of arbitrary export quotas and reversal of decisions, and consequently exporters cannot take risks or establish long-term market linkages. In some states like Andhra Pradesh, illegally, food grain sales across the state border are banned, causing further distress to farmers.
Cotton prices have been fluctuating wildly on account of ad hocism in policy. The current price for farmer is below ` 4000 per quintal. There is record production. But cotton farmers are in distress because even in a good year, they are not able to generate surpluses. You may recall that the largest number of farm suicides over the years have been by distressed cotton farmers. And yet, the government unabashedly pursues a policy calculated to depress prices, and imposes quotas and stops exports at will on the ground that Indian textile industry needs raw material. Farmers would be glad to sell to anybody – Indian or foreign – if the price is good. If there is a shortage in India, let there be a price signal to that effect, instead of reemergence of control-permit raj. We cannot ask the already crisis-ridden farm sector to forcibly sell at low prices to enhance the profits of a few in industry. If farmers switch over to other crops on account of low prices of cotton, there will be a long-term shortage and price increase, adversely affecting the economy. It is shocking that our ad hoc farm export policies are completely ignoring the fundamental laws of economics governing demand, supply and price. We are bringing back the discredited control-permit-quota raj into agriculture. This is causing distress to the farmer, and will undermine our economy in the medium and long term.
India is the biggest importer of edible oil. There is a need to boost oil seed production, even as we import to overcome shortages. The world over, moderate import duties are levied on farm imports, and incentives are given to boost indigenous production. Surprisingly, India does not subject edible oil to any import duty. On occasion, sensing India’s dependence on imports, the exporting countries are levying export duty! If a moderate duty of, say 10%, is imposed on edible oil imports, and if that revenue is ploughed back to oil seed farmers as incentive to boost production, within a few years we will not have shortages. Time and again, when technology and price incentives are available, the poor, illiterate Indian small farmers have achieved great results. And yet, ad hoc policies are now making India forever dependent on imports in the vital edible oil sector. Both the Indian farmer, and the economy are losing out.
I have outlined the impact of ad hocism and antediluvian policies on three commodities – food grains, cotton and edible oils – to highlight the failure of government policies in protecting the farmer through proper price signals. This failure is leading to long-term dangers to the economy. Depressed prices will force more and more farmers to leave farming (already crop holidays are being declared in Andhra Pradesh), or farmers will move rapidly from crop to crop in the quest for better incomes leading to volatility in prices. Long-term shortages because of failure of price signal, and agrarian distress are real and mounting dangers to the economy.
The government needs to act swiftly and wisely before the crisis leads to massive rural unrest. I earnestly urge you to take the following initiatives to address the farm crisis:
- Trade in agricultural commodities should be fully and irrevocably liberalized so that farmers get the best prices that markets can offer, and the price signal will boost long-term production.
- Needs of Indian industry and consumer will be met by better price signal, not by depressing the farmers’ price, thus leading to medium and long-term shortages and price-rise.
- Massive investments and technology should be brought into storage, supply chain and agro-processing.
- A moderate import tariff should be levied on agricultural imports, especially edible oil, and that income should be deployed as incentives to boost production, and end shortages.
- Simultaneously, the Munimum Support Price (MSP) should be continued for some time to act as a safety net to farmers until economic freedom yields satisfactory results.
- A comprehensive policy should be evolved to leverage our strengths in agriculture (11% of world’s agricultural land, sunshine, good rain fall, and strong agrarian tradition), and make it an engine of growth and an earner of export revenue, not a drag on the economy.
It is time that the challenges and opportunities of agricultural sector are addressed in a comprehensive manner – not in silos of agriculture, food and commerce ministries. Your oft-repeated call for the second green revolution can be realized if we make a fundamental break from ad hocism and failed policies, and view the prosperity of the farmer and consumer as an inseparable, harmonious goal.
You are a great economist with deep insights into agriculture and needs of Indian economy. Your leadership and sagacity have helped us convert the economic crisis of 1991 into an opportunity for growth and prosperity. Crisis-ridden Indian agriculture today needs your leadership to overcome the challenges, and become an engine of growth and reliable supplier of food to our population and raw materials to our industry.
With warm personal regards,
President, Lok Satta Party
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan has urged Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to abandon ad hoc and antediluvian policies in respect of three commodities – food grains, cotton and edible oils – which have let down the farmer and posed long-term dangers to the economy.
In a letter to the Prime Minister today, Dr. JP said that trade in agricultural commodities should be fully and irrevocably liberalized so that farmers get the best prices that markets can offer, and the price signal will boost long-term production.
Dr. JP wrote the letter in the context of the Prime Minister convening a meeting of the Agriculture and Food Ministers on April 30 to sort out differences between them on export of agricultural produce.
Dr. JP pointed out that although the rest of the economy has largely been liberated from the clutches of license-permit-control-quota raj, "thanks largely due to your stewardship of the economy during 1991-96," agriculture is still subject to arbitrary and unjustified controls.
The farm sector has been going through a severe crisis with input and labor costs going up significantly and prices of agricultural commodities falling at the farm gate.
Dr. JP said that although food grain production has been registering secular, long-term growth and per capita consumption falling on account of shift to fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk and meat, the Government of India is pursuing only ad hoc policies on exports. "For years, grain exports have been banned even as our grain stock is rotting. Thanks to your intervention, in late 2011, rice exports have been allowed. However quotas are imposed and ad hoc policies pursued."
Cotton farmers are in distress because even in a good year, they are not able to generate surpluses. "Despite record production, the Government unabashedly pursues a policy calculated to depress prices, and imposes quotas and stops exports at will on the ground that the Indian textile industry needs raw material. We cannot ask the already crisis-ridden farm sector to forcibly sell at low prices to enhance the profits of a few in the industry. If farmers switch over to other crops on account of low prices of cotton, there will be a long-term shortage and price increase, adversely affecting the economy."
Dr. JP pointed out that instead of giving incentives to boost edible oil production the Government of India is facilitating duty-free imports. "If a moderate duty of, say 10%, is imposed on edible oil imports, and if that revenue is ploughed back to oilseed farmers as incentive to boost production, within a few years we will not have shortages. Yet, ad hoc policies are now making India forever dependent on imports."
Dr. JP told the Prime Minister that depressed prices will force more and more farmers to leave farming (already crop holidays are being declared in Andhra Pradesh), or make them move rapidly from crop to crop in the quest for better incomes leading to volatility in prices.
Dr. JP suggested that trade in agricultural commodities be fully and irrevocably liberalized. Simultaneously, the minimum support price (MSP) mechanism should be continued to act as a safety net to farmers until economic freedom yields satisfactory results. Massive investments and technology should be brought into storage, supply chain and agro-processing.
"A comprehensive policy should be evolved to leverage our strengths in agriculture (11% of world’s agricultural land, sunshine, good rainfall, and strong agrarian tradition), and make it an engine of growth and earner of export revenue, not a drag on the economy."
Monday, April 23, 2012
The Lok Satta Party today charged the 'sara' (traditional) political parties like the Congress and the Telugu Desam with resorting to street fights over the liquor scandal instead of seeking an overhaul of the policy which has ruined the common man and enriched politicians, bureaucrats and media.
In a media statement, Lok Satta Party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao referred to the dharna drama staged by TDP President N. Chandrababu Naidu on the one hand and Congress leaders on the other in Vizianagaram today and said that both parties are equally guilty of giving rise to the liquor mafia in Andhra Pradesh. The rich and the influential belonging to both parties formed into syndicates and cornered liquor shops by bidding them for exorbitant rates mostly in benami names. In a bid to recoup investments, the syndicates promoted as many as 1.5 lakh belt shops or unauthorized outlets in every nook and corner of the State and indulged in sale of liquor including non-duty paid stuff way above the stipulated maximum retail prices. They bought silence of politicians, bureaucrats and media with huge bribes, as is evident from the findings of the State's Anti Corruption Bureau.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that instead of diagnosing the malady correctly and suggesting a remedy, the two traditional parties have been indulging in mud-slinging at each other. This is nothing but an attempt at deflecting public attention from the main issue.
The Lok Satta leader said that a solution to the problem lies in the Government abandoning the auction system and running the liquor outlets officially. It should limit the number of such outlets and the days and timing of their operations. Panchayats should be tasked with the responsibility of controlling illicit distillation.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that the Government should not view liquor as a cash cow. Andhra Pradesh Government's claims to be a leader in initiating umpteen welfare schemes like supply of rice at one rupee a kilo and Indiramma housing sound hollow because its liquor policy has been ruining the health and finances of millions of the poor.
The Lok Satta Party is ready to give tickets to contest elections and offer positions within the organization to all sincere and competent people irrespective of their caste, religion, region and economic status.
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan gave this assurance to a delegation of Akhila Brahmin Rajakiya Samithi (ABRS), Andhra Pradesh, which called on him seeking five percent representation to Brahmins in Lok Satta party tickets and positions commensurate with their population.
Dr. JP said that the Lok Satta is the only party which has fielded common people as its candidates in elections without looking into their dynastic or financial credentials. Brahmins with leadership qualities and a willingness to shoulder responsibilities will have bright prospects in the Lok Satta Party.
Dr. JP pointed out that traditional parties are fuelling hatred among different castes in the name of reservations for partisan ends. The Lok Satta Party in contrast is trying to promote a reservation policy which benefits downtrodden sections as also the poor in forward castes including Brahmins. That is why the Lok Satta has proposed that poor students drawn from rural and urban areas be given bonus marks in competitive examinations.
Dr. JP counseled the Brahmin leaders that they should strive to transform the nature of politics by making education its center point.
Mr. Muralidhar Deshpande, Mrs. M. Kalpavalli and Mrs. M. Mahalakshmi were among ABRS leaders who submitted the representation to Dr. JP.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today congratulated scientists and technologists on successfully test-firing Agni -V, India’s inter-continental ballistic missile.
The test exemplifies India’s emergence as a key player in the world of science and technology. It should be viewed as part of the country’s development story, he said in a media statement.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
The Lok Satta Party today announced that Mr. Maddipatla Siddaiah Naidu (47), a former defense employee, will contest the by-election to the Assembly from Tirupati and Dr. Kondeti Kondaiah (48) from Anantapur.
Announcing this at a media conference, Lok Satta Party leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao, V. Laxman Balaji and P. Bhaskara Rao criticized the Chief Minister sharply for allocating public resources to boost Congress party prospects in by-elections. The State funding the Congress election campaign is blatant abuse of power, they added. Adding insult to injury, the Government is nominating party workers to execute e works without calling for tenders.
The Lok Satta leaders appealed to the electorate to ponder whether they should vote for parties which instead of addressing people's problems in legislatures sought to disrupt them. By voting for the Lok Satta, people should demonstrate they are thirsting for a change in political culture.
They pointed out that the by-elections have been foisted upon people by parties merely to serve their leaders' personal agenda.
The Lok Satta Party expressed its condolences over the death of Mr. K. G. Satyamurthy, one of the founders of the People's War Group.
Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao, Lok Satta Party General Secretary, said in a media statement today that Mr. Satyamurthy was reputed not merely as a revolutionary leader but also as a poet who inspired party workers.
A Dalit by birth who endured untouchability, he sought to address the caste factor in Indian polity unto his last.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s birth anniversary should be an occasion for everyone to pledge himself or herself for a building a casteless society in which all children, irrespective of the accident of birth in a certain caste, can realize their true potential and compete with the son of a collector or the daughter of a minister, said Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan here today.
Addressing a gathering after garlanding Ambedkar’s statue nearTank Bund, Dr. JP said that regarding Dr. Ambedkar as only a Dalit leader amounts to doing great injustice to a national leader who strove to preserve national unity and eradicate caste.
Dr. JP congratulated the State Government on constituting a Cabinet sub-committee on implementation of the sub-plan for SCs and STs and hoped the Government would create mechanisms necessary for productively utilizing the funds meant for downtrodden sections.
At the Lok Satta Party headquarters, party leaders Eeda Chennayya, V. Laxman Balaji, Katari Srinivasa Rao, Bandaru Ramamohana Rao, M. Satyanarayana, P. Sivaji and J. Krishna Rao paid floral tributes to Ambedkar. They said that paying a real tribute to Ambedkar lies in fighting against social evils and not merely in installing statues and garlanding them. It is to empower Dalits politically that the Lok Satta has been demanding proportional representation in elected bodies, they said.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today congratulated Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on echoing the Lok Satta Party view that farmers should not be made sacrificial goats for industry.
Addressing a media conference, Dr. JP referred to Mr. Sharad Pawar's letter to the Prime Minister complaining against the ban on export of cotton to safeguard the interests of the textile industry.
Dr. JP said that India is poised for phenomenal agricultural growth if only Government policies are conducive. Unfortunately, the Governments have been persisting with antiquated and license-permit-control raj policies. India is losing international trade heavily even as farmers are put to great distress. While input prices have been continuously spiraling, farm gate prices have been plummeting. Massive liberalization of agriculture on the lines of the one carried out in industry by Dr. Manmohan Singh in 1991 is the need of the hour.
Dr. JP recalled that he had a detailed discussion with the Prime Minister a year ago on the parlous state of agriculture. Although the Prime Minister agreed with his analysis, he is yet to take remedial measures.
Dr. JP recalled that the Union Government permitted rice exports only after repeated representations by the Federation of Independent Farmers' Associations (FIFA), the Lok Satta Party and political parties.
Dr. JP said that thanks to the Dandi-type agitation launched by the Lok Satta Party, farmers in Andhra Pradesh benefited to the tune of Rs.1200 crore as the price of fine varieties of paddy went up from Rs.750 to Rs.1000 a bag.
It may be recalled that farmers led by Dr. JP defied the Government's ban on export of certain varieties of rice outside the State and carried out token sales in neighboring States. The Government was forced to concede that it imposed an informal ban in contravention of laws and Government of India guidelines.
It has named Mr. Allu Ramesh Reddy (37) as its candidate from Ongole and Mr. Bommisetty Venkata Ramana popularly known as Babu (35) from Rayadurg.
It will be naming its candidates for Tirupati and Anantapur in a day or two.
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan and Working President D. V. V. S. Varma made the announcement at a media conference here today at the conclusion of the two-day meeting of the party's State Working Committee.
The leaders said the party would consider fielding candidates from Narasannapet, Payakaraopet, Ramachandrapuram, Pattipadu, Yemmiganur and Parkal Assembly seats and Nellore Lok Sabha seat and take a decision within a week.
The Lok Satta Party would be fielding Mr. Ashwin Mahesh in the election to the Karnataka Legislative Council from Bengaluru graduates' constituency and Mr. Surendra Srivastava in the election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council from Mumbai graduates' constituency.
Dr. JP said the Lok Satta Party has decided to work with the Left parties for the replacement of the present first-past-the-post electoral system by a proportional representation system. Dr. JP said the Lok Satta Party would be meeting the newly elected CPI General Secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy soon to take the idea of proportional representation forward. The Lok Satta would work with Left parties to fight for empowerment of people through decentralization.
Replying to a question, Dr. JP indicated that the Lok Satta Party would welcome the prospect of working with the Left parties for presenting an alternative to the Congress and the Telugu Desam.
Dr. JP pointed out that the people are looking for a credible alternative to the traditional parties. Both the BJP and the Congress had suffered a serious setback in Assembly elections in North India and the Congress and the TDP in the Assembly by-elections in Andhra Pradesh. The situation is ripe for momentous changes in Indian politics, he added.
Dr. JP said that the party would launch strong movements on two burning issues – corruption and liquor policy. The party would fight for constitution of a strong Lokayukta, independent Anti Corruption Bureau, and establishment of special courts for trying the corrupt. It demanded that the Government scrap the present system of auctioning liquor shops and take over liquor sales with a view to restricting liquor consumption through limited outlets.
Replying to a question, Dr. JP said that the strong movement for the formation of a separate Telangana State cannot be ignored in a democracy. However, in a federal set-up a solution should be hammered out in a cordial manner. The Lok Satta will work for such a comprehensive and harmonious solution and welcome the creation of a Telangana State as part of such a solution
Mr. Varma said that the party would conduct organizational elections at the district and State levels in the next three to four months.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Lok Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today appealed to all parties to come together and help create an equivalent of Britain's National Health Service.
If a war-ravaged Britain could constitute the NHS as early as in 1948, there is no reason why India endowed with better resources and technologies today could not go in for it, said Dr. JP in a media statement.
Welcoming the recommendations of the expert group on healthcare headed by Dr. K. Srinadha Reddy, Dr. JP recalled that as member of the National Advisory Committee he drafted a proposal in 2005, and suggested the launching a National Health Mission to ensure health coverage for both in-patients and out-patients. It envisaged 100 percent free coverage for primary and secondary healthcare and insurance-based coverage for tertiary care. It involved participation of and competition between the public and private sectors. There would be standard operating procedures and payments for interventions. Doctors in Government hospitals would be compensated based on their performance.
Dr. JP said that the Union Government chose to implement a diluted National Health Mission by opting for a National Rural Health Mission earlier and a National Urban Health Mission now.
Dr. JP said that the failure of successive Governments to attend to public health has led to perpetuation of poverty, indebtedness and resultant suicides. India is the only major country in the world which has an appalling healthcare system. Although the UPA had committed itself to increasing health expenditure to 3 percent of GDP, it still remains at 1.1 percent.
The Lok Satta Party, he pointed out, has all along maintained that Arogyasri implemented in Andhra Pradesh is flawed since it catered to the needs of two percent of patients who needed tertiary care at the expense of the 98 percent of patients who needed primary and secondary care.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan will be taking part in a two-day workshop on ‘Integration of medical education with primary, secondary and tertiary health care’ being organized by Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, on April 9 and 10.
CMC is reputed for tailoring its education to the needs of the community through a number of innovations.
Dr. JP will be making a presentation on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for medical education and health care in Andhra Pradesh.
Mr. Nandipet Ravinder has rejoined the Lok Satta Party. Mr. Ravinder, who had served as President of the Lok Satta Party’s Greater Hyderabad unit, resigned from the party some time ago and joined the Telangana Lok Satta Party to become its General Secretary.
Mr. D. V. S. Varma, another leader who joined the Telangana Lok Satta Party, too is returning to the Lok Satta Party fold.
The two leaders met Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan on April 6 and requested him to permit their return to the party. Dr. JP conceded their plea and asked party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao to attend to formalities.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
In our obsession with the future of certain politicians, we are failing to discuss the core issues that revolve round politics, said Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan here today.
"We frequently discuss how Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy's YSR Congress Party will fare in by-elections, the efforts being put in by TDP President N. Chandrababu Naidu to make his party relevant and the growing schisms within the Congress. But we are not seriously concerned about eradicating corruption, improving education and healthcare, drinking water and power supply and infrastructure."
Addressing a group of students and youth who have come forward to devote a part of their time for transforming society, Dr. JP said that people in general focused on some burning issues to get immediate relief but not on resolving them for good. "We are missing the wood for trees", he pointed out.
Dr. JP cited a number of instances to drive home his message. People are concerned about drinking water availability in summer but fail to appreciate that the nearly Rs.7000 crore – Rs.8000 crore spent under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in the State has not been utilized to preserve and augment groundwater. They launch an agitation against an increase in the power tariff but ignore the grave crisis in the energy sector. A Government which could not bring down transmission and distribution losses and prevent wasteful use of electricity is now determined to execute lift irrigation schemes which cost Rs.3 lakh to Rs.4 lakh an acre. If the schemes materialize, the Government will have to spend Rs.20000 crore to Rs.25000 crore a year on their maintenance. The Government will be spending Rs.60,000 an acre under the scheme whereas the income from that piece of land does not exceed Rs.25000. In contrast, he recalled that as Prakasam District Collector he provided irrigation facility for two lakh acres by incurring an expenditure of a mere Rs.45 crore on lift irrigation schemes and bore-wells. Again in the wake of the transfer of an official probing the liquor mafia, the discussion centered on who benefited from it and not on providing autonomy to crime investigation agencies.
Dr. JP counseled the youth to focus on changing the nature of politics and bettering society. We have the technologies and resources to build a better India, he added.
The Andhra Pradesh Government has betrayed its scant respect for democracy and good governance by transferring a top official investigating the liquor mafia in the State, charged the Lok Satta Party here today.
Addressing a media conference, Lok Satta Party leaders Bandaru Ramamohan Rao and P. Bhaskara Rao said the Government effected the transfer of ACB Additional Director, K. Srinivasa Reddy, heading the Special Investigation Team, to serve ruling party interests.
Pointing out that the transfer came in the wake of a truce brokered by the Congress High Command in New Delhi between Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and State Congress President Botsa Satayanarayana, the Lok Satta leaders said it amounted to the Center blessing the State leaders to persist with their policies of loot and plunder. The transfer came at a time when people felt that at long last a battle against the liquor mafia had been launched. The liquor mafia has been ruining the lives of millions of people through unbridled sale of liquor and spurious stuff through illegal outlets.
Mr. Ramamohan Rao and Mr. Bhaskara Rao said that the Government in its bid to save the PCC President, Ministers, legislators and others facing allegations of receiving huge kickbacks from the liquor mafia has demoralized the bureaucracy. The Lok Satta Party will wage a legal battle against the transfer of Mr. Srinivasa Reddy and for grant of autonomy to the ACB.
The Lok Satta leaders recalled that the Central Bureau of Investigation had emerged by and large as an independent agency working under the supervision of the Central Vigilance Commission following a Supreme Court judgment in the Vineet Narayan case in 1997. The Supreme Court had in 2006 suggested in the Prakash Singh versus the Government of India case initiation of reforms in police administration to prevent political interference in crime investigation.
The ACB should be autonomous and work under the supervision of a strong and independent Lokayukta, they added.
The Lok Satta leaders asked why IAS and IPS officials, who had alleged witch-hunting in the wake of some CBI investigations, remained silent when a colleague of theirs had been shunted out for discharging his duty.
A good public transportation system was a must if cities have to survive and it was essential that citizens support the elevated metro rail project instead of causing hurdles, said Lok Satta founder-president and Kukatpally MLA Jayaprakash Narayan.
Addressing a gathering at the Miyapur metro rail depot on Friday, he pointed out that top cities in the developed world had an efficient public transport system.
“It is very difficult to live in cities without it,” he said. Initially, he did root for the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) but realised that too much of road widening was not possible.
“We need to inculcate the culture of utilising public transport,” he said.
Mr. Narayan said the Hyderabad Metro Rail project was being taken up under the public, private partnership mode with less of a government burden. But he wanted it to be integrated with MMTS and RTC with a single transport authority for seamless travel through a single ticket.
Admitting that there were quite a few private properties being acquired for the project, he called for adequate compensation for those losing properties and livelihoods.
Mr. Bikshapathi Yadav said it was a matter of pride for people of his constituency as the depot was being built at Miyapur.
Courtesy: The Hindu
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Leaders of the Sarva Jana Satta, affiliated to the Lok Satta Party, today paid tributes to Babu Jagjivan Ram on his 105th birth anniversary by garlanding his statue at Basheerbagh.
Sarva Jana Satta President Eeda Chennayya, Vice President P. V. Rao, Treasurer P. Hanumantha Rao and others took part in a meeting held on the occasion.
The leaders recalled the role played by Babu Jagjivan Ram during the freedom struggle and his contribution to making the nation self-reliant in a number of fields including agriculture and defense.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
The Lok Satta Party today charged the Government with deliberate attempts to scuttle the ongoing ACB (Anti Corruption Bureau) inquiry into the liquor mafia.
In a media statement, Lok Satta Party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao and Secretary P. Bhaskara Rao said the Government has betrayed its intention by its midnight transfer of Mr. Kothakota Srinivasa Reddy, Additional ACB Director heading the special investigation team (SIT) probing the liquor mafia.
It may be recalled that ACB raids on liquor syndicates in a number of districts have revealed that the operators have been funneling huge amounts as bribes to politicians including legislators and Ministers, officials and media to cover up their illegal trade practices.
The Lok Satta leaders pointed out that the sudden transfer of the SIT chief comes in the wake of a cold war between Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and PCC President Botsa Satyanarayana.
Media reports quoting ACB sources said that half the liquor licenses in Vizianagaram district, the home district of the PCC President, had been cornered by white card holders. Since they could not have raised the huge amounts of money needed to bag licenses, they are apparently benamis for certain powerful sections in society.
It is against this backdrop that Mr. Botsa Satyanarayana has reportedly accused the Chief Minister of trying to tarnish his reputation by linking his name to the liquor mafia.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao and Mr. Bhaskara Rao wondered whether the Chief Minister was trying to buy peace with the PCC President by throwing a spanner in the liquor probe.
The Lok Satta leaders recalled that the Lok Satta has all along been demanding that the Anti Corruption Bureau be made autonomous and freed from day-to-day Government control and placed under the purview of an independent and powerful Lokayukta.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
The Lok Satta Party today welcomed the newly elected CPI General Secretary Survaram Sudhakar Reddy’s support for replacement of the first-past-the-post electoral system by a proportional representation (PR) system.
In a media statement, Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said that the first-past-the-post system has led to vote buying and the rise of money power to garner the marginal vote for capturing as many seats as possible. It has resulted in unbridled corruption and generation of black money on a large scale.
“In such a system, the best and the brightest can no longer play a creative role through ethical politics and principles. Politics without principles and ethics has created a grave political crisis across India.
“It is time that all political parties introspected and arrived at a consensus for changing the electoral system”, Dr. JP said.
The Lok Satta Party today congratulated Aung San Suu Kyi on the spectacular victory of her National League for Democracy in the elections for vacant parliamentary and regional assembly seats in Burma (Myanmar).
The NLD won 35 of 37 available seats in the Lower House, three of six vacancies in the Senate and both vacant seats in regional Assemblies. The Election Commission did not announce the winners of the remaining five seats.
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said that Aung San Suu Kyi, who fought tirelessly for liberty and democracy in her native land, has emerged as an iconic and inspirational figure on the global stage.
Dr. JP likened Aung San Suu Kyi to Nelson Mandela for her sacrifices, unflinching courage, refusal to succumb to bitterness, compassion and non-violence and eternal optimism in the face of great adversity.
Expressing his delight over Aung San Suu Kyi herself being elected with a huge majority, Dr. JP said, “This is not the end of tyranny, but it heralds the beginning of democracy.” He hoped that democracy would fully and finally triumph when regular elections take place in Burma in 2015.