Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan is taking part in a conference of cotton growers at Nanded in Maharahstra on Thursday, August 30.
The Nanded unit of Shetkari Sanghatana is organizing the conference which will discuss production of quality cotton seeds and extension of technical know-how to farmers. Representatives of companies which have evolved new cotton varieties will be honored.
Mr. Sharad Joshi, founder of Shetkari Sanghatan and former MP, will preside.
Among those who will take part in the conference are Shetkari Sanghatan leaders Ravi Devang, Gunwant Patil and Shailaja Pande and Lok Satta Khammam district leader Dr. Raghavulu.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Administration in Andhra Pradesh has come to a standstill with the Chief Minister and his colleagues making the rounds to New Delhi engrossed in their bid to safeguard positions of power in the wake of allegations of incompetence against some and corruption against some others, commented Lok Satta Party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao here today.
In a media statement, Mr. Srinivasa Rao pointed out that the crisis in the Congress Party has plunged the State into a crisis because of concentration of power in New Delhi and Hyderabad. Failure to delegate powers, resources and personnel to local governments has spawned unrest and regional movements.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that both the Congress and the Telugu Desam are both equally guilty of centralized rule. The present Congress Government has repeatedly deferred elections to local bodies and placed them under official rule in blatant violation of statutory norms. Empowerment of local bodies alone will enable people to get services as their right without depending on Central and State Governments.
The Surjajya movement launched by the Lok Satta Party aims at enlightening and educating people on centralization of power, he added.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao welcomed the State Government decision to go ahead with the third phase of the Krishna water supply project to meet the drinking water needs of Hyderabad.
The Lok Satta Party, he recalled, had advocated that the Godavari water should be utilized for irrigation in the Telangana region as its diversion is costly and unviable. In contrast, as Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan has repeatedly pointed out, the Krishna water can be tapped faster and at a lesser cost.
Friday, August 24, 2012
Lok Satta Party President will be delivering a lecture on ‘Restoring confidence in institutions of governance’ at a meeting being organized by Excellence Enablers in New Delhi on Saturday, August 25.
Mr. Sitaram Yechury, M.P., Dr. Bimal Jalan, former M. P. and Governor of Reserve Bank of India and Ms. Chhavi Rajawat, an MBA who is sarpanch of village Soda in Rajasthan, will speak at the event titled Agenda for India.
The interactive event aims at infusing a sense of positivism in and participation by India’s youth in the affairs of their nation by encouraging them to connect with India’s ground realities and recognize the need for institutions of governance.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Leaders of political parties and civil society organizations, meeting here today, formed a steering committee to take forward the non-partisan Surajya movement.
Announcing this at a media conference, Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said that the primary aim of the movement is dispelling despair and infusing confidence among people on accomplishing certain basic things on which there is a broad consensus. "Ours is a political but non-partisan movement," underlined Dr. JP, adding that nothing can be accomplished by blaming politicians.
Dr. JP said that the movement seeks to enlighten people on their rights and exert pressure on the Government and political parties on ensuring right to service, decentralization of power, corruption free administration and ethical politics through electoral reforms.
The immediate focus is on holding round- table conferences in towns, formation of forums in colleges, training volunteers, publication of literature and reaching at least a crore of people before December 9, Global Anti Corruption Day. The movement was formally launched on August 9, the 70th anniversary of Quit India movement.
Dr. JP said that attempts would be made to build an organization and start a fund to take the movement forward.
The following are members of the Surajya Steering Committee: Messrs Prof. K Nageshwar (MLC), Chennamaneni Rajeshwara Rao (TDP), Chukka Ramaiah (MLC), M. Kodanda Reddy (Congress), Padmanabha Reddy, Solipeta Ramachandra Reddy, Kaki Madhava Rao, K Srinivasa Reddy (IJU), D. Somasundar (APUWJ), Chelikani Rao, Ramakrishnam Raju (NAPM), TL Narasimha Rao (Lok Satta), S. S. Rajamouli, Tammareddy Bharadwaja, K Padmanabhaiah, D. V. V. S. Varma, Lakshman Reddy, Mrs. G Pratibha Rao, Mrs. Satyavaani, Mazer Hussain, Karthik Chandra, Ms Padma Bhupati Raju and Dr Jayaprakash Narayan (Convenor).
Mr. K. Ramachandra Murthy (HMTV) and Mr. Telakapalli Ravi are among advisors.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
The Lok Satta Party today described Mr. Kapu Rajaiah as an artist who immortalized Telangana folk life with his paintings. His works mirrored the life of artisans and farmers and rural traditions and customs. He led a simple and humble life despite to rising to dizzy heights and receiving many awards and honors.
In a media statement, Lok Satta Party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao recalled that Mr. Rajaiah took part in Lok Satta programs for bringing about electoral reforms.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao wanted the State Government to preserve the art pieces of Mr. Rajaiah and establish a memorial in his honor.
At Siddipet in Medak district, Lok Satta leaders including State Working Committee member Thumanapalli Srinivas offered floral tributes and took part in the last journey of the artist today.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Telugu Desam Party President N. Chandrababu Naidu has betrayed his contempt for ethical politics and anti corruption movements by commenting that Anna Hazare committed a blunder by lending support to the formation of a political party and Lok Satta leader Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan had split the TDP vote earlier by forming a party, said the Lok Satta Party today.
Referring to Mr. Chandrababu’s remarks in his Kuppam constituency, Lok Satta Party Working President D. V. V. S. Varma said in a media statement that nothing could be more shameful than claiming that he, his family members and their descendants alone should have monopoly over politics and that Annas and JPs have no right of entry.
Mr. Chandrababu was indulging in cheap comments because of his inability to compete with good politics and attract people with better politics, said Mr. Varma and added that such remarks would further hurt his credibility, far from rescuing his sinking TDP ship.
There would have been no need for Annas and JPs entering politics had traditional parties and their leaders discharged their role. Had Mr. Chandrababu been really interested in ethical politics, he would have welcomed the initiatives of Anna and Dr. JP, and offered to align with them in elections on the basis of an agenda for good governance. Lacking in such wisdom, Mr. Chandrababu could not welcome the entry of Anna and Dr. JP into politics.
Mr. Varma said that anticipating better comments from one who equates politics with ascension to power at any cost is perhaps unwarranted.
“The events in Assam where violence is undermining the security of our brethren and the religious divide is sought to be politically exploited should awaken us to the danger to the unity of India,” warned Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today.
Greeting Muslims on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr, Dr. JP in a media statement appealed to people to utilize the festive season to introspect and deepen mutual ties and respect so that children of all faiths live together, grow together and seek happiness together.
Dr. JP pointed out that India is the most eclectic of all lands in that every religious faith and philosophy has found hospitable terrain here. All faiths and traditions ranging from Vedic religion, bhakti movement, Judaism, Buddhism and Jainism to Christianity, Islam and Sikhism have taken roots and evolved into a syncretic culture in the ancient and longest surviving Indian civilization. “This land belongs to practitioners of and believers in all faiths and philosophies.”
“The truest tribute to nationhood is recognition of our composite culture and strengthening the traditions of harmony and mutual respect.”
Underlining that people of all regions, religions and tribes have a right to live, work and prosper anywhere in India as equal citizens holding their head high, Dr. JP said “it is a disgrace to our national ethos and traditions if insecurity is promoted among Assamese in the rest of India and they are frightened into an exodus to their State.”
Dr. JP said that Muslims settled down for generations cannot now be uprooted. The Indian sub-continent should be treated as a single economic entity. Poverty anywhere in the subcontinent will lead to problems everywhere. “Barbed wires and sten guns cannot hold people back in a globalized world. We have to work together to promote prosperity in all of South Asia".
Saturday, August 18, 2012
The Lok Satta Party today suggested imposition of a windfall profits tax on private parties which will profit enormously from the allocation of a public natural resource like coal for captive mining.
Addressing a media conference, Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan appealed to political parties, Parliament and the Government to consider his proposal instead of indulging in acrimonious allegations and counter allegations over the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) report on allocation of coal blocks to private parties.
Dr. JP said that allocation of coal blocks to private parties for captive mining cannot be faulted as the public sector Coal India has miserably failed to meet the demand for coal and forced the country to spend precious foreign exchange on import of coal from countries like Indonesia, Australia and South Africa. The shortfall between demand and supply is as much as 100 million tons a year, notwithstanding the fact that the country has reserves to last 600 years.
According to the CAG report, the difference between the cost of production and market price in 2010-11 worked out to Rs.295 per ton. Since the difference fetches undue returns to private parties, the Government could legitimately levy a tax on such windfall profits. Britain had imposed such a tax when it allocated natural gas blocks in the North Sea. The tax could be levied in all cases where beneficiaries of public natural resources make huge profits.
Dr. JP said that allocations of coal blocks to private parties could not be cancelled like the licenses for 2-G spectrum. The Supreme Court upheld the Lok Satta contention that 2-G spectrum licenses were granted arbitrarily and capriciously.
The coal blocks already allotted cannot be cancelled as the beneficiaries have invested hundreds of crores of rupees on their development for captive use in power generation. Cancellation at this stage will cripple the economy as it will aggravate the ongoing power crisis throughout the country. All the allottees have legitimate coal requirements and the mines are being developed for captive purpose.
As far as independent power projects (IPPs) with power purchase agreements with Governments are concerned, the fuel cost is a pass through item, and therefore all benefit of coal mining should automatically be passed on to Electricity Boards.
Dr. JP suggested that all natural resources including coal should hereafter be allocated on the basis of competitive bidding. Even as it allocates resources like coal, the Government should ensure that the beneficiaries do not face problems like environmental clearances and delays in commissioning power projects.
On the permission given to Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) for collection of developmental charges, Dr. JP said that a committee of experts should go into such practices elsewhere in the world as development of infrastructure by private parties entailed huge investments with uncertain returns.
Lok Satta leaders P. Ravi Maruth, Bhisetty Babji, J. Irama Murthy and Dr. K. Kondaiah took part in the media meet.
Friday, August 17, 2012
The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the Chief Minister safeguard the image and prestige of the Government by dropping Ministers facing various allegations.
In a media statement, Lok Satta Party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao pointed out that Ministers facing serious allegations of corruption or moral turpitude should resign on their own.
The Chief Minister has no alternative to sacking the Ministers if they face an arrest warrant, or convicted in a court of law or if a court frames charges against them.
On the exodus of Assamese from Hyderabad, Mr. Srinivasa Rao wanted the State Government to take all measures to ensure their safety. Assamese like any other citizens of India have the right to live and work anywhere in the country.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Politics and administration should revolve round making every child realize its true potential and not on making people dependent on the Government for the sops it throws at them, said Lok Satta Party Working President D. V. V. S. Varma here today.
Addressing a gathering after unfurling the National Flag at the party headquarters on Independence Day, Mr. Varma said the objective could be realized if people worked collectively.
Although the country has registered considerable progress since Independence, it falls far short of its potential, said Mr. Varma. By focusing on sops and subsidies, traditional political parties have been stifling people’s urge to come up in life on their own. Thanks to centralization of power, one has to look up to Hyderabad or Delhi for solutions to problems in rural areas. Empowerment of citizens through decentralization will promote good governance he added.
Party leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao, V. Laxman Balaji, P. Bhaskara Rao, S. Manorama, M. Satyanarayana and P. Sivaji took part in the program.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today appealed to people not to yield to negativism and despair that are buffeting the country these days.
Conveying his greetings to people on the eve of Independence Day, Dr. JP said in a media statement that economic decline, massive corruption and a sense of drift and paralysis in administration without any long-term purpose have been fuelling unrest in the country. It is, therefore, time to pull up our boot-straps and strengthen our resolve to make things happen.
Dr. JP pointed that the economy can do a lot better if only we focus on investments in power, transport and other infrastructural facilities and the future of our children and shift our attention away from present consumption and short-term subsidies.
Corruption has become a great menace to the country’s future but there is no reason to lose hope going by the cancellation of 2-G spectrum allocations and mining leases thanks to public outrage and judicial intervention. Institution of strong and independent anti corruption mechanisms and swift and sure punishment to the guilty will improve national morale and reduce graft.
Dr. JP said that not withstanding the current slowdown, India continues to be the second fastest growing large economy in the world. “If we set our house in order, we can easily outperform all others in the world”.
“For this to happen, we should transcend our narrow parochialism and petty differences, stand tall and proud by recognizing the impressive strides we have made as a nation, apply the lessons we have learnt to improve things for future, and work for collective good even as we ensure that individual needs are fulfilled.”
Monday, August 13, 2012
The Lok Satta Party today wanted the Government to stick to its July 2012 commitment to buy fine variety of paddy directly from farmers at Rs.1500 a quintal including an incentive of Rs.220 over the minimum support price.
In a media statement, Mr. P. Bhaskara Rao, Lok Satta Party state Secretary and Convener, Federation of Independent Farmers’ Associations, warned the Government against succumbing to millers’ pressure against its intervention in the paddy market. Rice millers reportedly claim they alone can render justice to the farmer by lifting paddy with higher than the stipulated moisture, unlike the Government.
Mr. Bhaskara Rao pointed out that if the Government enlightened farmers on the stipulated moisture content and assured them of loans against produce stored in local warehouses, they would not resort to distress sales. Once the Government enters the market, there will be competition between it and millers for paddy purchases resulting in the farmer getting a fair price for his produce.
If a Government agency procures paddy directly from farmers, gets it processed into rice and utilizes it for the PDS (public distribution system) both farmers and consumers stand to gain, Mr. Bhaskara Rao added.
He demanded that the Government publish the findings of its study on paddy marketing policies in Chattishgarh and Punjab.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Friday, August 10, 2012
The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the Government squash the Planning Commission proposal for free supply of mobile phones to the poor.
In a media statement, Lok Satta Party Working President D. V. V. S. Varma referred to the Planning Commission proposal to get the Prime Minister announce the free phone scheme from the ramparts of the Red Fort on August 15 and said such hare-brained schemes would not contribute to human resource development. The Government should focus on providing free quality education, healthcare and improvement of skills. It is yet to implement its promise to supply medicines free of cost to all patients.
Mr. Varma pointed out that schemes aimed at garnering voters are counter-productive and recalled how farmers even to this day are finding it difficult to get bank loans in the wake of the UPA I Government's loan waiver scheme. The scheme had failed even to arrest the tendency among farmers to commit suicide.
As part of the Surajya movement, Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan is visiting East Godavari district on Saturday, August 11.
He will take part in a students' Surajya rally at Amalapuram at 11-00 a.m., interact with engineering students at Mummidivaram at 1-30 p.m. and attend a round-table meeting at Kakinada at 4-00 p.m.
The Foundation for Democratic Reforms and the Lok Satta have launched the Surajya movement from August 9 to bring about awareness among people on the reforms needed to usher in good governance.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
The Foundation for Democratic Reforms and the Lok Satta are together launching a State-wide Surajya movement from August 9 with a round-table meeting in the morning and a public meeting in the evening in Hyderabad.
The round-table conference will take place at FAPCCI Hall in Red Hills from 10-00 a.m with Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan acting as coordinator. Legal and constitutional pundits, prominent public and media representatives and organizations fighting against corruption will take part in the meeting.
The meeting will discuss enactment of a law on citizen’s right to government services, creation of strong anti-corruption mechanisms from the State to the village level, empowerment of local governments and ushering in of basic political and electoral reforms. The round table will hammer out a consensus on the issues and unveil an action plan as part of the Surajya movement.
At 5-00 p.m., there will be a public meeting at Sundaraiah Vignana Kendram in Bagh Lingampalli. Dr. JP, K.Nageswar, (M.L.C.), K.Ramachandra Murthy (HMTV Editor-in-Chief) and movie directors S. S. Rajamouli, Tammareddy Bharadhwaja will participate.
In a media statement, Lok Satta Party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao said the Surajya movement aims at promoting awareness among public on ethical politics and good governance. The movement, beginning on August 9, Quit India Day, will be carried out in different forms until December 9, International Anti Corruption Day.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today welcomed into the party fold two highly talented and professionally successful non-resident Indians on their return to India for good to serve the country.
They are Mrs. Hymavati Sagi Potineni (36) and Mr. Dilip Sankar Reddy (31). Mrs. Hymavati, who took her B. E. from JNTU, Hyderabad and MS from the University of Toledo, USA., had served as a team leader in General Electric for two years and headed her own software firm for nine years.
Mr. Sankar Reddy obtained his B. E. in Computer Science from PES Institute of Technology, Bangalore and MBA from Booth School of Business, Chicago. He had devoted his life to promoting sustainable development and earned many recognitions and awards.
Mrs. Hymavati will work for the party in Sanathnagar constituency and Mr. Sankar Redy in Malkajgiri constituency. Both of them had associated themselves with the People for Lok Satta, an NRI organization earlier.
Introducing them to media, Dr. JP pointed out that Mrs. Hymavati and Mr. Sankar Reddy have given up their jobs, lucrative incomes and a life of comfort and ease to serve the country. The country today needs thousands of such people to transform the nature of politics, said Dr. JP and added that politics will remain rotten so long as men and women of competence and integrity do not enter politics and devote their time, energy and resources to cleanse it.
"Mrs. Hyma and Mr. Sankar Reddy are sacrificing their today for a better tomorrow for the country."
In reply to a question on the Government decision on tuition fee reimbursement for professional college students, Dr. JP recalled that it was the Lok Satta Party which had for the first time declared that no student who is eligible and has the desire to pursue higher education be denied the opportunity on the ground that he or she has no resources. It was one of the 50 guarantees the Lok Satta Party incorporated in its election manifesto in 2009. Being smarter than most others, the then Chief Minister Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy chose to implement it. The Lok Satta Party welcomed the decision.
Unfortunately, Dr. JP said, the Government fee reimbursement scheme has merely breathed new life into dying private colleges and the Arogyasri scheme into unviable private hospitals.
Dr. JP demanded that the Government reimburse students' tuition fees to the extent it can and help them pursue higher education with bank loans, interest subsidy etc.
The Government, however, should focus on imparting quality education to students so that they can climb out of poverty and flourish in life, instead of enabling them to get paper degrees. Most of the students coming out of colleges these days are unemployable. The state of education is so parlous that scores of colleges do not have regular teachers, buildings, furniture or even toilets.
Mrs. Hyma and Mr. Sankar Reddy pledged themselves to work for spreading the Lok Satta ideology and serving their constituencies.
Monday, August 6, 2012
6th August, 2012
Dr. Manmohan Singh
The Prime Minister of India
Esteemed Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh ji,
Kindly recall my discussion with you on April 27, 2011. On the same day I wrote to you enclosing the communication and recommendations from three eminent jurists – Sri Justice MN Venkatachaliah, Sri Justice JS Verma and Sri Justice VR Krishna Iyer – on vital judicial reforms.
Judiciary is our most trusted and valued institution. However, the mechanisms for judicial appointments have proved to be inadequate in elevating the best and brightest to the bench. And the existing arrangements to hold erring judges to account have failed.
Foundation for Democratic Reforms (FDR) has therefore initiated a process to pursue judicial reform in the country. We requested three of India’s most eminent and credible jurists – Sri Justice MN Venkatachaliah and Sri Justice JS Verma, both former Chief Justices of India, and Sri Justice VR Krishna Iyer, former Judge of Supreme Court – to come together and make suitable unanimous recommendations for judicial reform. The three eminent jurists labored for about a year, and after long and detailed deliberations, they have unanimously agreed upon the following judicial reforms:
Creation of a National Judicial Commission (NJC) for transparent appointments to the Supreme Court and High Courts. This mechanism would combine the input from the elected branches of the government and the judiciary. The suggested composition and functioning of the NJC for appointments to various courts is given in the Note re: NJC by Sri Justice MN Venkatachaliah and Shri Justice JS Verma and endorsed by Sri Justice VR Krishna Iyer, based on the Towards Greater Judicial Accountability concept paper by FDR (all documents enclosed).
Replacing the present, cumbersome and unsatisfactory constitutional mechanism of impeachment (under Art.124 (4)) with a more effective mechanism for removal of errant judges, functioning under the NJC framework.
Creation of an All India Judicial Service (AIJS) on the lines of IAS and IPS, for enhancing the competence and quality of judges in trial courts, under Art. 312 of the Constitution.
The proposals of the eminent jurists can be harmoniously and synergistically reconciled with the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010, now before the Parliament.
You and other national leaders across party lines have been articulating the need for judicial reforms to protect the independence, integrity and image of the higher judiciary. Our interactions with all major leaders of political parties indicate that there is a broad political consensus in favour of these reforms.
Now is the time to press for genuine judicial reform. Independent, competent and honest judiciary enjoying full public confidence is clearly the need of the hour. We therefore urge you to accelerate the process of judicial reform in line with the proposals of the three eminent jurists.
I am enclosing the letter of the three eminent jurists (dated April 27, 2011) addressed to you, and the joint note prepared by them for your easy reference and expeditious action. In view of the importance of the issue, and the need for building a national consensus, we are taking the liberty of sharing this communication with leaders of political parties, members of Parliament and media.
With warm personal regards,
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today requested Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to usher in two far-reaching judicial reforms: the creation of a National Judicial Commission (NJC) for transparent appointments to the Supreme Court and High Courts, and the creation of Indian Judicial Service on the lines of IAS.
In a letter to the Prime Minister on the eve of Parliament’s monsoon session, Dr. JP said the proposed reforms should also provide for replacement of the present, cumbersome and unsatisfactory constitutional mechanism of impeachment with a more effective mechanism for removal of errant judges, and creation of an All India Judicial Service (AIJS) on the lines of the IAS and the IPS, for enhancing the competence and quality of judges in trial courts.
The letter to the Prime Minister is a follow-up to the initiative for judicial reforms taken by the Foundation for Democratic Reforms (FDR), a non-partisan research-and-advocacy body, headed by Dr. JP.
At the request of the FDR, three eminent jurists of unimpeachable integrity and moral authority and stature –Justice M. N. Venkatachaliah, former Chief Justice, Supreme Court, Justice J. S. Verma, former Chief Justice, Supreme Court, and Justice VR Krishna Iyer, former Judge, Supreme Court – carried out in-depth deliberations and unanimously suggested certain reforms.
Dr. JP referred to the Prime Minister’s determination to protect the integrity and image of the higher judiciary, and said the proposals made by the three esteemed justices can be harmoniously and synergistically reconciled with those in the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010, now in Parliament.
The FDR took the initiative in the wake of credible allegations leveled against individual judges in recent years by prominent members of the bar and others.
The FDR feels that although the judiciary on the whole is conducting itself with admirable dignity and propriety, the actions of a few black sheep are damaging the entire institution. If the credibility of the higher judiciary is undermined further, there is the real danger of the nation falling apart, feels the FDR.
When complex and contentious issues like reservations or Ayodhya create conflict, the nation needs the judiciary to stand as a bulwark of freedom and constitutionalism.
Dr. JP told the Prime Minister that “now is the time for deeper judicial reforms.” The existing mechanisms for judicial appointments have to be recast so as to ensure elevation of the best and brightest to the bench, eliminating the doubtful, and in a transparent manner. Simultaneously, judicial accountability being integral to judicial independence, there is a need for an effective mechanism to enforce judicial accountability.
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today characterized Union Petroleum Minister S. Jaipal Reddy's defense of gas allocation to Ratnagiri power plant at the expense of Andhra Pradesh as bureaucratic.
Addressing a media conference, Dr. JP recalled that the Union Cabinet committee had decided in 2008 to allocate the available gas to fertilizer plants, domestic users and power plants in that order of priority. The committee, however, placed the Ratnagiri power plant on par with fertilizer plants for gas allocation.
The gas production from Reliance's D 6 block of the Krishna-Godavari basin at that time was 80 MMSCMD and was expected to go up to 120 MMSCMD by now. Instead, the availability has plunged to 29 MMSCMD now.
Sticking to the biased 2008 decision in 2012 when there has been a steep shortfall in gas production is unwarranted, said Dr. JP. As Union Petroleum Minister, Mr. Jaipal Reddy ought to have brought the changed circumstances to the notice of the Union Cabinet and ensured that no injustice was rendered to Andhra Pradesh in the process.
Dr. JP appealed to all political parties to transcend differences and fight for justice in gas allocation.
In reply to a question, Dr. JP said that Team Anna Hazare's plans to float a political party cannot be faulted. It is because most political parties have lost public confidence that Team Anna has come up with the idea.
Commenting on BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu's comment that the Team Anna Party will end up like the Lok Satta, Dr. JP said that winning elections at a time votes are bought with money and liquor might be difficult. Had the established parties worked for basic political reforms, there would have been no need for a Lok Satta Party or a Team Anna Party, Dr. JP added. The question is not whether Team Anna or the Lok Satta will win elections or not but whether the status quo should be allowed to continue. Why have not established parties like the Congress and the BJP with a lot of clout and money not taken up basic reforms like empowerment of local bodies or constitution of a National Judicial Commission, asked Dr. JP.
Saturday, August 4, 2012
The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the State Government end the agony of students and parents over delayed admissions to professional colleges by undertaking immediate counseling.
In a media statement, Lok Satta Party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao wanted the Government to resolve the fee issue immediately in the wake of the High Court and Supreme Court judgments so that students do not lose precious time in the academic year.
Pointing out that the courts have given the freedom to certain colleges to fix the tuition fees based on the infrastructure and other facilities they have, Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that the Government should ensure that the fee charged by them is rational and reasonable and reimburse the colleges the fees for students admitted to them under the convener quota. The Government should reimburse whatever fee it fixes for all other colleges to students who get seats under the convener quota
Mr. Srinivasa Rao also suggested that students be rid of the bother of applying individually to many colleges for a seat under the management quota. Instead, the managements should work out a method under which a student has to put in only one application.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan expressed his relief over Anna Hazare and his team calling off the fast at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi and at other places tomorrow.
Commenting on the announcement from India against Corruption, Dr. JP said in a media statement, “Annaji clearly awakened the conscience and purposefulness of a whole nation, and for this we must all be forever grateful to him. While I have no doubt that Team Anna is capable of resolute fast for many more days, it would have been futile, because Parliament did not appear to share Anna's urgency to pass a strong anti-corruption law.”
Dr JP said he felt satisfied that the Lok Satta, on its part, had supported the enactment of a Lokpal Bill from the very beginning, and made strong efforts to convince Parliament of its importance. He was also happy that thousands of Lok Satta party members participated in the two-year campaign by India against Corruption.
“It will surely have been a great learning experience for so many to understand how this country is really run, and how it needs to be run very differently – by a brand new politics committed to public good”.
Dr JP noted Team Anna's apparent plans to plunge into electoral politics. He said, “Lok Satta welcomes this whole-heartedly. The battle for political change in this country has been a long and lonely one, and while the Lok Satta has traveled some distance on this journey, many more miles remain to be covered. Anna can galvanize the participation of concerned and informed citizens in public life, and give progressive politics a powerful new momentum”.
He concluded by adding that Lok Satta will be happy to place at Anna's disposal the entirety of its learning and efforts as a political party. “We have all traveled this road, in our different and separate ways, for many years now. We can powerfully combine our efforts to build a great India.”
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
The collapse of the power grids resulting in half of the Indian population going without power is the culmination of neglect of the power sector for decades by successive Governments, said Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan here today.
Although India has abundant coal reserves that can last for nearly 300 years, power plants are starved of the fuel because of lack of foresight on the part of the Government, he said. We import not merely gold but also 130 million tons of black gold worth billions of dollars every year.
Dr. JP was addressing media after unveiling a booklet on 'Environment in the Jaws of Pollution', penned by Prof. Gollu Suryanarayana in Telugu. Dr. JP commended Prof. Suryanarayana as a self-made man who started his career as a school teacher and rose to become a university professor and embellished the State Public Service Commission. Prof. Suryanarayana has done a signal service to Telugu-speaking people by bringing out the booklet in intelligible Telugu.
Dr. JP underlined the importance of achieving economic growth with minimum pollution. Establishment of washeries and beneficiation plants will reduce pollution resulting from coal mining. In its bid to save a few crores of rupees, Dr. JP recalled, the National Thermal Power Corporation failed to attend to efficient handling of ash at the Simhadri power plant in Andhra Pradesh. The ash emanating from the plant has been blanketing a number of villages around the plant. Seeing the plight of villagers around the Simhadri plant, people in other parts of the State are fiercely resisting establishment of thermal power plants.
Dr. JP said corruption, short-sighted policies and inefficiency are to blame for the chronic power shortage in Andhra Pradesh. Instead of reducing losses in transmission and distribution, the Government is encouraging establishment of more and more power plants, unmindful of the pollution they cause. The State perhaps needs an additional installed capacity of about 15,000 mw whereas the Government talks of promoting generation of 66,000 MW. It persists with unviable lift irrigation schemes which require massive amounts of power.
Voicing concern over growing pollution, Prof. Suryanarayana said that the day is not far off when we have to carry oxygen cylinders strapped to our backs just as we carry bottled water these days as pure air and water have become scarce.
Lok Satta Party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao welcomed the media. Dr. JP honored Prof. Suryanarayana and publisher Indukuri Appalaraju Varma (Rajababu) with shawls and mementos. Lok Satta Party Working President D. V.V. S. Varma shared the dais.