Thursday, June 28, 2012
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.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Friday, June 22, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Monday, June 18, 2012
The Lok Satta Party today accused the State Government of succumbing to the liquor lobby in deciding to award liquor shop licenses to private parties through a lottery system.
In a media statement, Lok Satta Party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao said that the Chief Minister had gone back on his promise to consult all parties before announcing the new liquor policy and issued the G. O. unilaterally. The policy is nothing but old wine in a new bottle. Through the so-called new policy, Mr. N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has demonstrated that he is no different from his predecessors, Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu, who opened doors for belt shops and Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who spread them to every nook and corner.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao pointed out that the new policy effective from July 1, 2012 will once again lead to the sprouting of shops in benami names, formation of syndicates, proliferation of belt shops, flow of non-duty paid liquor and sale of liquor above the MRP (maximum retail price) as in the past.
If the Government does not revoke the policy, the Lok Satta Party in association with other parties and civil society organizations will mount an agitation and take recourse to legal means, warned Mr. Srinivasa Rao.
Considering that unbridled flow of liquor in the State has ruined millions of families, the Government should take over retail trade and rein in liquor consumption by restricting the number of shops and the timing of their operation. Panchayats should be empowered to prevent illicit distillation and unauthorized sale of liquor. If they fail to discharge their duty, they should attract the penalty of dissolution, said the Lok Satta General Secretary.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today called for a re-alignment of political forces in the State in the wake of the collapse of both the ruling Congress and the Opposition TDP.
Addressing a media conference on the results of the by-elections to one Lok Sabha and 18 Assembly seats, Dr. JP said that the Lok Satta Party in association with Left parties would work out an agenda for restoring ethical politics in the State. The politics of both the Congress and the TDP have revolved round abusing power and making money. In the process, they have centralized power, made legislators uncrowned kings and succeeded in casting a spell on people by offering them temporary sops instead of making them self-reliant.
Dr. JP said the Congress and the TDP fought the by-elections without an agenda and spent crores of rupees to woo voters. Andhra Pradesh has earned notoriety for setting benchmarks in gargantuan election expenditure. While the two parties focused on Mr. Y S. Jaganmohan Reddy's corruption, the YSR Congress talked about the injustice meted out to the YSR family. The talk on corruption did not click because people felt all traditional parties are corrupt.
Dr. JP said that political parties without a credible agenda, leaders who command the love, affection and trust of followers and confidence of victory in elections are bound to collapse. It is against such a backdrop that the YSR Party profited from the anti-establishment vote in Andhra Pradesh.
Dr. JP said that the re-alignment of political forces should take place on an agenda which focuses on eradication of corruption, decentralization of power, ensuring quality health care and education to all, providing employment opportunities, rendering justice to the farmer and restricting liquor consumption. There are sincere and honest people in all traditional parties. They should join hands to usher in new politics in the State, said Dr. JP.
Politics of the past has focused on short-term benefits to voters without lifting them out of poverty. Politics of the future should be based on the resolve to enhance incomes and opportunities through education and level playing field.
Dr. JP congratulated all the winners in the by-elections saying that the people's verdict in a democracy should be respected.
In reply to a question, Dr. JP said that those who cannot spend money in elections are doomed to lose. It does not however mean that those who spend more than others are certain to succeed. The ability to spend money has, however, become an entry barrier in the elections.
Lok Satta Party Working President D. V. V. S. Varma and General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao took part in the media conference.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
The Lok Satta Party today termed the hike in the minimum support price of paddy as an eye-wash since it does not take into consideration the steep increase in costs of production.
The Union Government has raised the MSP for common paddy from Rs.1080 to Rs.1250 a quintal and for A grade paddy from Rs.1110 to Rs.1280 a quintal for the 2012-13 kharif season.
In a media statement, Mr. P. Bhaskara Rao, Convener, Federation of Independent Farmers' Associations and Lok Satta Party Secretary, recalled that the Swaminathan Commission had recommended that the MSP should be at least 50 per cent more than the cost of production. The cost of production has spiraled in the last few years because of the increase in costs of inputs like seeds, fertilizers and pesticides and laborers' wages.
The Union Government decision falls far short of the commission's recommendation.
Mr. Bhaskara Rao said that the State Government had failed ensure MSP for paddy during the crop year 2011-12. It hurt the farmer further by enforcing a ban on movement of paddy and rice outside the State in contravention of laws and Central guidelines. It was only after the Lok Satta Party defied the illegal ban by launching a movement that the farmers received the MSP.
The farmers' leader demanded that the entire country be treated as one zone and the farmer given freedom to move his produce wherever there is demand.
Instead of leaving procurement to millers, the Andhra Pradesh Government should enter the market like its counterparts in Punjab and Chattisgarh.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Monday, June 11, 2012
The Lok Satta Party today welcomed the Government directive to AP Mining Development Corporation to cancel the lease agreement with Rakashana Steels on iron ore mines spread over 1.41 lakh acres in Khammam and Warangal districts.
Lok Satta Party leaders D. V. V. S. Varma and P. Bhaskara Rao said in a media statement said the agreement was flawed on many counts including lease of areas in Scheduled areas to ineligible entities.
The Lok Satta leaders said that those in the Government and its undertakings over the years have arbitrarily allocated precious natural resources like land, minerals and sand to their relatives and cronies. All suspect deals like Vanpic and Lepakshi should be revoked and precious natural resources allocated through international competitive bidding. The resources should be allocated judiciously considering the interests of future generations. Windfall profits arising out of allocation of public resources to private entities should be taxed.
On the by-elections scheduled for June 12, the Lok Satta leaders appealed to voters to vote in favor of good candidates without succumbing to inducements like money being offered by traditional parties.
Mr. Varma and Mr. Bhaskara Rao congratulated people of Sitaramapuram village in Payakaraopet constituency on turning away politicians who came to buy their votes.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Friday, June 8, 2012
The Lok Satta Party today strongly condemned Revolutionary ‘Democratic’ Front (RDF) President Varavara Rao’s diatribe against Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan.
Lok Satta Party Working President D. V. V. S. Varma in a media statement pointed out that Mr. Varavara Rao clutched at a distorted report in a newspaper to make the unwarranted attack.
The newspaper distorted Dr. JP’s oft-repeated contention that the corrupt are more dangerous than terrorists by substituting the word terrorists with naxalites.
Mr. Varma said that Dr. JP had never referred to naxalites in the context of his campaign against corruption. Mr. Varavara Rao went by the distorted report which depicted Dr. JP as saying that Mr. Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy is more dangerous than naxalites.
Mr. Varma clarified that the Lok Satta Party has never equated naxalites with terrorists. On the contrary, Dr. JP has many times declared that non-violent naxalism is his credo. The Lok Satta Party believes that Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy is merely a symptom of the rotten and corrupt state of affairs in Andhra Pradesh and that both the Congress and the TDP are partners in the politics of plunder. The Lok Satta’s focus is on institutional changes rather than individuals.
Mr. Varma said that Mr. Varavara Rao’s comment that two World Bank trained individuals – Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Dr. JP – had made India with 120-crore people toe its line betrays his political bankruptcy.
The Lok Satta Party has always evaluated policy prescriptions of any institution including the World Bank on the touchstone of public interest. The question is not whether the cat is black or white but whether it can catch the mice.
Mr. Varavara Rao’s snide that Dr. JP is conversant with lawful looting of public resources betrays the levels to which he is ready to stoop.
In fact it was Dr. JP who exposed with facts and figures the systematic squander of public resources in the name of ports, SEZs and ports in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly. It was again the Lok Satta which was instrumental in getting the 2-G licenses involving loot of finite resource cancelled by the Supreme Court.
Mr. Varavara Rao who views the Assembly as a piggery or a haven for chatterboxes is not concerned with such exposes.
Mr. Varma counseled Mr. Varavara Rao to realize that by indulging in unfair criticism against the Lok Satta, which is committed to protecting constitutional values and rule of law, fighting corruption and empowering people, is harming the interests of the poor and the downtrodden.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan will be campaigning in Prathipadu constituency on June 7 and 8 on behalf of the party candidate Mrs. Jonnalagadda Jayabhagyam in the by-election to the Assembly.
On June 7, Dr. JP will be visiting Anantavarapadu, Lemallepadu, Vatticherukuru, Muttuluru and Chamallamudi in the forenoon and Thummalapalem, Kondrupadu, Yanamadala, Vengalayapalem and Gorantla in the evening.
On June 8, Dr. JP will be visiting Pandrapadu, BK Palem, Thelagayapalem, Garikepadu and Bodipalem in the forenoon, and Kakumanu, Pedanandipadu, Palaparru, Uppalapadu and Nagabhyrava Palem in the evening.