Saturday, March 30, 2013

Lok Satta Party Statement on Internal Party Elections in State of Andhra Pradesh

Lok Satta Party stands for free and fair internal party elections and therefore have adopted the concept of "Independent election authority". The national leadership of the party has received a few complaints in recent days that the internal elections that are underway in Andhra Pradesh may be affected by missing names and bogus entries in the list of eligible voters. Members of the National Steering Committee discussed this during the day today.

During the last quarter of 2012, the members of the party in Andhra Pradesh, as well as the State Working Committee were keen that elections to offices of the party at different levels should be held soon. Accordingly, it was decided by state working and executive committee that the elections would be held immediately after the end of the Surajayam Movement (9th Dec, 2012), and that they should be concluded by 31 March 2013.

A massive registration campaign to induct new members was held until 31 January 2013. Thereafter, the independent Election Authority, which conducts elections to various offices of Lok Satta, notified the election on 6 February 2013.

At this stage, it should be admitted that the State Working Committee as well as the national leadership did not believe that there would be errors or misconduct in the compilation of the voters list. As a result, the voters list was forwarded to the Election Authority without the necessary scrutiny of it. In hindsight, it appears we could have anticipated this and taken the additional time needed to vet the roll; this will be done in all future elections through an appropriate process in place.

Since the Election Authority is an independent body, the party has no role in the conduct of the election after the elections are notified by the EA. Therefore, it is not up to the party to postpone the elections as desired by few members. Also, given the stature and esteem of the EA's members, we would not like to seek a revision of their process in the middle of this election cycle.

That said, however, the National Steering Committee is absolutely of one mind that the election results must reflect the views and preferences of the party's genuine members to the fullest. To this end, the party has constituted an enquiry committee (Hyma Saggi, Dilip Sankarreddy and Padma Bhupatiraju) to look into the allegations of errors and misconduct in the compilation of the voter roll. Party will add few more credible names to this committee soon.

Strict disciplinary action will be taken against anyone found to have tampered with the fairness of the process. Strict disciplinary actions against all the members who were involved in acts of commission and/or omission or have tampered with the fairness of the process will taken after the inquiry.

If such acts of commission and/or omission or tempering of election process are of the magnitude that it distraught's the outcome of the elections, the party will not hesitate to ask the EA to conduct the election again.

This statement is issued in consultation and with the approval of "National Steering Committee" including Dr. JP, Mr.Surendra Srivastava and Dr. Ahwin Mahesh and others.

The National Steering Committee requests your support in taking the election forward robustly, and making it a success we can showcase to other parties. The lessons of this round will serve us well in the future.

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