Saturday, March 30, 2013
The Surajya movement is organizing a photo contest & exhibition on ‘Maa Palle Sithraalu’ to enhance awareness among youth on rural India.
Giving this information in a media statement, Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, Convener, Surajya Movement, recalled that the Foundation for Democratic Reforms and the Lok Satta launched the Surajya Movement in August 2012 advocating that youth be at the forefront for attaining ‘Suraaj’ through ethical politics and good governance.
The movement among other things seeks creation of independent and powerful anti-corruption mechanisms and empowerment of local governments for rural development.
The photo competition encourages youth to capture the development or backwardness of villages through their camera lens when they visit villages in the coming summer holidays. The contestants have to focus on nine different themes: Education, Employment, Health & Medical Facilities, Sanitation & Hygiene, Rural Youth, Rural Women, Government Services- Policies & Programs, Rural Infrastructure and Social Awareness.
Apart from rewarding the first three best photographs with cash awards of Rs 10,000, Rs 7000, Rs 5000 respectively, all the selected photographs will be displayed in the photo exhibition being organized across the State in June 2013.
While students, employees, photographers, rural/urban youth and any citizen below 40 years of age can participate in the contest & exhibition, participants above 40 years can send entries for photo exhibition alone. The entries can also be photographs taken within the last two years (not before March 2011). They have to be sent before May31, 2013.
Photographs can be submitted in soft copy through e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in CD or by post to ‘Maa Palle Sithraalu Photo Contest, C/o Foundation for Democratic Reforms, 8th Floor, Srinivasa Towers, Besides ITC Kakatiya Hotel, Begumpet, Hyderabad’ or in person. For more details on rules & instructions, contact through email or phone (8790000492) or visit Surajyam website (www.surajyam.in) or facebook (Surajya Udyamam).
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.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Lok Satta Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan will be the guest of honor at the Guntur Medical College graduation ceremony at Guntur in the morning on Wednesday, March 27. He will address a meeting of youth at Nunna near Vijayawada in the afternoon.
On March 28, Dr. JP will campaign in Bengaluru on behalf of the party in the elections to the Karnataka Assembly.
On March 29, Dr. JP will take part in the convocation of S. V. Medical College in Tirupati.
Monday, March 25, 2013
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Lok Satta Party embarked on the exciting and for contemporary India, unfamiliar, journey of the Internal Party democracy. The central challenge is to progressively build a viable, sustainable, ethical, member-driven political platform. In a hierarchical and power-centered society it takes a lot of patience and perseverance to build democratic culture and practices.
I urge all active and executive members to participate in the election. Let there be healthy and vigorous competition. But the end goal is not winning - it is to participate and strengthen the platform to achieve the goals for India. All of us believe in rule of law, decentralization, ethics in public life, effective service delivery, opportunities for vertical mobility for all citizens irrespective of birth, high-quality infrastructure and rapid economic growth. For us, politics is a means to achieving these goals. We must never succumb to the dangerous notion that personal power or party power is an end. Our internal elections are a means to the larger end.
I am aware some members are genuinely concerned about avoidable errors in electoral rolls of the party. This is only a beginning. We shall all learn from this experience, and make the process as perfect as is humanly possible. It is this constant quest for improvement which strengthens institutions. But for the time-being the impossible best should not become the enemy of the possible good. An ounce of concerted action is better than a ton of contemplation and endless debate.
I urge everybody to make this election in the party a healthy, participative and fruitful exercise in the service of Indian democracy.
Lok Satta Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan is visiting Kakinada for a day on Sunday, March 24.
Dr. JP will be the chief guest at the convocation of the Rangaraya Medical College at 5-00 p.m.
At 3-30 p.m., he will felicitate the best outgoing women students of various colleges in Kakinada at a function being organized by the Center for Empowerment and Development of Women headed by Dr. Aluri Vijayalakshmi.
At 3-00 p.m., Dr. JP will interact with new office-bearers of Lok Satta Party units in East Godavari district. The office-bearers of constituency, corporation and district-level party units in the district are being elected unanimously.
Friday, March 22, 2013
There will be a straight fight between Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao and Mr. Kongara Gangadhara Rao for the post of State President of the Lok Satta Party, according to a notification issued by the Independent Election Authority which is conducting the party's organizational elections.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao is at present the party's General Secretary while Mr. Gangadhara Rao is a member of the State Working Committee.
Polling for the State President's election will take place on different dates in various districts between April 5 and April 7. Counting of votes and declaration of results are scheduled for April 10.
The contest for the post of President of the party's Greater Hyderabad unit is also going to be straight. The two candidates in the field are Mr. Bonthu Sambi Reddy and Mr. Dosapati Ramu. Polling and declaration of the result are scheduled for April 7.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
The Internal Elections of Lok Satta Party have been notified by the Independent Election Authority (IEA) on March 6, 2013. The process is now on.
This is a difficult and courageous step for a political party in a country in which parties are traditionally autocratic and leadership is often unelected. This is particularly complicated in a society in which democracy is still a novel concept and is largely limited to voting and free speech. Nevertheless, we must make a beginning and set an example.
Once we have appointed IEA and entrusted to them the authority to conduct elections, we have to adhere to their directions. The IEA has and experienced and highly credible Chair, Sri K Madhava Rao, former Chief Secretary of AP and former State Election Commissioner (a Constitutional authority), with Sri Kalanidhi Satyanarayana (former Law Secretary), and Sri M.Padmanabha Reddy (former official of Indian Forest Service and former Campaign Coordinator of Lok Satta Movement) as members.
Elections were notified on March 6 and the list of members was handed over to the IEA on March 6, 2013. Emails were created to each district and soft copies were sent on 9th and 10th March, 2013 simultaneously hard copies were also posted. Nominations have been called between 18-20 March 2013 for Party President and offices at various other levels, except the office bearers at the State level. I understand that about 2% of the members’ names have not found place because of communication gaps at various levels. Similarly, names of a few other members enrolled earlier were inadvertently because of software glitches. Also some of the entries were inaccurate. All these errors account for total of 3 ½ % (956 of over 28000 eligible voters). After these errors were notified, the membership office made earnest efforts to correct them. However, the IEA took the stand that even omissions on account of obvious errors should not be rectified after the list was handed over to them. This is inconvenient and disappointing for several members, but we must respect IEA’s decision. Once an Independent external authority is monitoring elections, we all should accept their decisions. While membership rolls are the party’s responsibility, the process after handing them over to IEA has to be under their guidance. The membership team has done a remarkable job in the face of many problems and severe
limitations. While 3% errors are regrettable, they are not uncommon. Even in highly digitized society like US, there are about 4% errors in census data.
Despite massive resources and personnel, in India, the electoral rolls have about 12 – 15% errors in urban areas and 5% errors in rural areas. In the height of our experience, we need more safeguards and adequate time to correct errors in future. The membership team led by Sri Lakshman Balaji and Ms.Padma Bhupatiraju has done a remarkable job and worked late nights for weeks to put things in place. The IEA took the responsibility entrusted to them seriously and painstakingly prepared election manuals for LSP, and made elaborate arrangements. Unlike in General Elections, IEA had to newly identify and appoint Election Officers and Returning Officers, and train them, and make complicated logistical arrangements. They are doing a remarkable job out of love for democracy.
I am constituting a team comprising of Ms.Hyma Sagi, Ms Padma Bhupatiraju and Mr.Dilip Sankar Reddy to identify the process difficulties and defects in voter rolls, and recommend specific corrective measures for the future. Preparation of accurate membership rolls in particular is the Party’s responsibility, and we must make it fool-proof.
I urge all members to participate actively and compete in a healthy manner to build institutions and leadership in the party. Fierce contestation may sometimes lead to insecurity and on occasion mistrust. It is to ensure a level-playing field and free and fair election that IEA has been created. We must learn to trust the process and actively participate. At all stages of the process, IEA is putting in place transparent mechanisms for fair and free election.
I urge all members to utilize this opportunity to build leadership at every level. The challenge of India is to promote member-participation in political parties, and to allow credible and competent leadership to emerge at every level. Elections are a small but important step in this respect. There are no winners and losers in this process. We are all winners if we learn how to build how to learn a democratic party, and how to accommodate the minority in decision-making. Whoever is elected has a greater responsibility in creating an inclusive atmosphere. Everyone elected or unelected, has responsibility in bearing the difficult burden of sustaining ethical politics in India and making it successful.
I wish you all the best.
President Lok Satta Party.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Three persons have filed their nominations for contesting as President of the State Lok Satta Party, according to the Independent Election Authority which is conducting the party’s organizational elections.
They are Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao, at present General Secretary, Mr.Kongara Gangadhara Rao, member, State Working Committee and Mr. Kolla Kiran Kumar, a contestant in the 2009 Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections.
Four persons have filed their nominations for the post of the President of the Greater Hyderabad Lok Satta Party unit. They are Mr. Dosapati Ramu, R. Manik Prabhu, Mr. Bonthu Sambi Reddy and Mr. B. Hanumantha Rao.
The elections to these posts by secret ballot will take place in the first week of April.
The filing of nominations for elections to party units from the constituency to the State level, which began on March 18, concluded today. The Election Authority will publish the names of candidates in the race, after withdrawals, on March 22.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Lok Satta Party national president Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today expressed his grief over the passing away of C. Dharma Rao, who devoted his life to promote Telugu language and literature.
Dr.JP recollected that Mr. Dharma Rao, along with some others brought out a glossary of legal terms in the recent past.
Monday, March 18, 2013
Lok Satta Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said today that the Andhra Pradesh budget for 2013-14 makes no attempt at enhancing the incomes of people and helping them come out of poverty. And the so-called agricultural budget similarly fails to ensure remunerative prices to farmers and improving their livelihood.
In a media statement, Dr. JP said the Government has shown no signs of learning lessons from the past and undertaking a course correction. In fact, the budget indicates that Andhra Pradesh is headed for more troubled times going by the debt ballooning from Rs.82000 crore six years ago to Rs.180000 crore now, the interest burden almost doubling to Rs.15000 crore a year, pension liabilities leapfrogging by three times, and revenue surplus declining steeply.
Dr. JP noted that liquor accounted for Rs.20000 crore of the State's Rs.87000 crore tax revenue.
Although the Government's entire focus is on 17 percent of funds earmarked for welfare schemes, it has not shown any imagination in ensuring their proper utilization. For instance, entitlements to welfare schemes could have been linked to beneficiaries sending their children to school. No attempt has been made to improve the appallingly low standards of school education in the State. A per capita grant of Rs.1000 to people in both urban and rural areas which amounts to just five percent of the Rs.160000-crore budget would have helped local governments address immediate and pressing concerns of people.
There is no wonder that the State continues to face perpetual power shortage as the budget allocates a mere Rs.600 crore for capital works since 90 percent of the Rs.8000 crore to the sector goes towards meeting revenue deficit of power utilities.
Dr. JP pointed out that the money allocated to agriculture and allied sectors is Rs.1000 crore less than in the previous year. Yet the Government has the temerity to claim a higher allocation of 24 percent by mischievously taking credit for an increase in bank loans to farmers. The Government has made no effort to remove illegal restrictions on movement of agricultural produce or improve storage, processing and value addition or provide pledge loans. A paltry Rs.100 crore has been allocated towards the market stabilization fund whereas the requirement is 30 to 40 times more.
The Government has squandered the opportunity of ensuring better outcomes in every sector. The budget is totally unimaginative and merely an exercise in presenting more of the same.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Friday, March 15, 2013
The Independent Election Authority (IEA) of the Lok Satta Party has announced that nominations for all posts in the party from the constituency to the State President level can be filed from March 18 to 20.
For the post of the State party President, nominations can be filed only at the IEA office at the State party headquarters and for all other posts from the constituency to the district level at IEA offices at party offices.
Giving this information here today, Mr. Kaki Madhava Rao, Chairman and Mr. K. Satyanarayana and M. Padmanabha Reddy, members of the Independent Election Authority, said nomination forms, voters' lists etc will be available at party offices and Election Authority offices. They can also be downloaded from loksatta.org/partyelections website.
The Election Authority has posted the names of the district election officers on the website. The IEA has chosen people not belonging to any political party but who have experience in conducting elections as election officers.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, Lok Satta Party national President and MLA from Kukatpally, today appealed to all parties to focus their attention on some of the vital and urgent issues which are plaguing the State in the legislature's budget session beginning on March 13.
In a media statement, Dr. JP regretted that legislatures in India do not have regular schedules. They meet infrequently for a total of 40 or 50 days in a year and even when they meet 90 percent of their time is lost in adjournments or disruptions. In contrast, in most mature democracies like the U. S. and the U. K. legislatures meet for 150 to 220 days in a year.
Even when the legislature meets, there is an unspoken compact between the ruling party and the Opposition. Both the Opposition and the ruling party seem to believe disruption of the functioning of the legislature is to their advantage. As a result, people have been losing faith in legislatures and politics.
Dr. JP would like political parties to focus on five vital issues in the ensuing session.
Perpetual power shortages and the deepening crisis in the energy sector. The issues call for both short-term and long term solutions.
Drinking water crisis caused by the depletion of reservoirs and declining groundwater tables. The crisis calls for concerted efforts including utilization of National Rural Guarantee Scheme funds for conserving every drop of water.
Elections to local bodies after enormous delay. Elections will become a farce without empowerment and devolution of funds.
Appalling standards of education. Although an annual expenditure of Rs.18000 a year is incurred on every student in Government schools, the standards are abysmal and call for immediate attention.
Growing corruption: Corruption can be combated only if there is a strong and independent Lokayukta, an autonomous Anti Corruption Bureau, independent prosecutors, special courts and provisions for confiscation of property. Efforts should be made to ensure that the Service Guarantee Act proposed by the Union Government is applicable to the State. In the alternative, the State should enact a similar law providing for citizen's charters.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Lok Satta Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today expressed supreme happiness over the Union Cabinet approving a Bill to provide time-bound services to citizens.
The Right of Citizens for Time-Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill provides for time-bound delivery of services like pensions, passports, ration cards, caste, birth and death certificates to citizens. Defaults will attract a penalty of Rs 250 a day subject to a maximum of Rs 50,000.
Describing the Bill as the culmination of efforts mounted by the Lok Satta party for 15 long years, Dr. JP said the measure is much more revolutionary than the right to information and constitution of Lokpal and Lokayuktas in that it totally transforms the relationship between the citizen and the public servant.
In a media statement, Dr. JP recalled that the Lok Satta had embarked on the mission to ensure services to citizens as a matter of right way back on October 2, 1998. On that day, the Lok Satta submitted a People's Charter to the then Governor C. Rangarajan seeking delivery of 36 services in a time-bound manner. Following its efforts, the State Government in 2001 ushered in a citizen's charter in regard to five services in municipalities and implemented it for some time.
Dr. JP pointed out that the right to services is the No. 1 demand of the Lok Satta Party's Surajya movement launched in August 2012. It may be recalled that Dr. JP had observed a three-day fast in December 2012 on Surajya and enlisted the support and solidarity of almost all parties.
As a follow-up, a Lok Satta delegation appeared before the Parliamentary Committee and requested it to adopt a Bill on citizens' services. The committee requested it to draft the Bill bringing about convergence between delivery of normal and electronic services. The Lok Satta drafted the Bill and submitted it to the Parliamentary Committee and the Union Government. Dr. JP met the Union Law Minister last month and requested him to ensure its introduction in Parliament.
Dr. JP appealed to all parties to ensure that the Bill is applicable to both the Union and State Governments. In fact, most of the services pertain to State and local Governments, he underlined.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
The Lok Satta Party's Independent Election Authority today initiated the party's organizational elections by issuing the notification.
As per the notification, active, life and executive members of the party will elect office-bearers and general council members to party units at the Legislative Assembly constituency, Municipal Corporation, district and State levels. The election process beginning on March 6, 2013 will be over on April 14, 2013.
Nominations for the office State President will be accepted at the office of the Election Authority at Hyderabad between March 18 and 20. Polling for the election will be held in districts on April 5, 6 and 7. Counting of votes and declaration of results will take place on April 10.
Nominations for posts of State office-bearers will be accepted on April 12 and 13. Polling and declaration of results will take place on April 14.
Lok Satta Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan presented CDs of active voters' lists to Mr. K.Satyanarayana and Mr. Padmanabha Reddy, members of the Election Authority, at a media conference here today.
Dr. JP said that the Lok Satta Party would like to set an example to all other parties in democratic functioning. At a time most parties have become the private estates of certain individuals or families, the Lok Satta would like to demonstrate that those with dedication, commitment and integrity can emerge as party leaders without the blessings of any high command. He welcomed Congress Party Vice President Rahul Gandhi's plans to cleanse his party and usher in internal democracy.
Dr. JP said that 50 percent of office-bearers at all levels will comprise SCs, STs, minorities, women and youth. Electronic voting facility will be made available to party members living overseas.
Replying to a question, Dr. JP said that the Lok Satta would not be deterred by the fear that internal elections might bring out differences among party cadres. The party is bent upon ushering in new political culture and there can be no going back on it, he said and recalled that the party has always practiced what it preached. It had contested elections without offering inducements like money, liquor and freebies and stuck to its decision not to enforce bandhs and road blockades. He had consciously decided against contesting for the State President post to create space for new leadership.
Mr. K.Satyanarayana, former Law Secretary and State Election Commission Secretary and Mr. M. Padmanabha Reddy, former IFS officer, said the party elections would be fair and impartial. Parties have become dynastic in the absence of elections.
According to the election notification, election of office-bearers and members of district council at the constituency level will take place during March 28-31. Election of office-bearers and members to the State General Council at the municipal corporation level will take place during April 2-7. Election of State-level office-bearers by members of the State General Council will take place on April 14.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
People for Lok Satta (PFL), the political nonprofit organization of overseas supporters of the Lok Satta Party, elected its second Executive Board at the international level and is in the process of conducting several chapter-level boards.
Election Commissioners Ms. Sarvani Piratla (NJ-USA), Mr. Chaitanya Kalapala (Houston-USA) and Mr. Kiran Telukunta(Germany), conducted the internal elections. The elections were conducted under the preferential system of voting in line with Lok Satta Party’s philosophy, instead of the traditional first-past-the-post majority system.
Ms. Rajani Karuturi from New Jersey, who was organizer of several ground level activities and election campaigns in last year, is elected as President.
Mr. Raghuveer Mukkamalla, who has been handling finances for Washington Chapter and who has also been part of central finance team, is elected as Vice President (Finance).
Mr. Krishna Burugapalli, who has been handling memberships for Washington chapter and who was instrumental in setting up membership infrastructure along with current Vice President Kiran Indukuri, is elected as Vice President (Membership).
Mr. Prakash Kapila from New Jersey, who is coordinating constituency promotion projects for Vizag and Rayadurgam, is elected as Vice President (Projects). He vouched to give laser focus to win four constituencies adopted by PFL.
Mr. Pradeep Chukkapalli, who coordinated constituency promotion project for Sanathnagar and activities of Boston chapter, was elected Vice President (Events).
Mr. Dinesh Pagadala from Nashville, who is handling PFL media activities, retained his position as Vice President (Media).
Mr. Prasanna Meda, outgoing President, said he is hopeful that the new executive comprising young and energetic leaders would take PFL to new heights. Mr. Jawahar Kambhampati, out going Vice President of Projects, said he is happy to see new leaders coming forward and taking lead in challenging times before 2014 elections.
PFL has organized events and campaigns like “Rejuvenate India”, “Kill Corruption”, “NRI absentee voting rights” and “Dandi March II” in the U. S. and several other countries over the last four years. PFL has been concentrating on ground campaigns in India in last two years and supported Lok satta party with activities and phone banks in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka elections. PFL had also provided capable leaders like Dilip Sankarreddy, Hyma Sagi and Padma Bhupatiraju, who were members of PFL but moved to India to directly work with Lok Satta.
Ms. Rajani Karuturi, the President, announced that she would give her full energies in ensuring that the trend of team spirit, teamwork, leadership building, open communication and coordination to be taken forward and strengthened further.
Mr. Kiran Telukunta, one of the election officials, said that PFL voters and candidates felt fairness because of the preferential voting system. The system had been followed in several other organisations like wikimedia and Debian all over the world. Kiran said that it would result in leaders to work harder to appeal to more people than the first-past-the-post majority system used by Indian Election commission could.
Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government have invited Mr. Dilip Sankarreddy, Lok Satta Party leader from Malkajgiri in Hyderabad to speak at the prestigious Harvard India Conference at Boston in the U. S. on March 9 and 10.
Mr. Dilip will speak on “Politics as a vocation: Pathways for young people to ennoble Indian politics”at the Harvard India Conference. Previous participants in the conference include Mr. Amartya Sen, Mr. P. Chidambaram and Mr. Navin Jindal.
It may be recalled that 32-year-old Dilip quit his professional job in the U.S. in 2012 and returned to India to work for people full-time on the Lok Satta Party platform
Mr. Dilip is a member of the National Council of the Lok Satta Party and Vice President of its overseas affiliate, People For Lok Satta (PFL).
Mr. Dilip, a Computer Science engineer, obtained his MBA from the reputed University of Chicago Booth School of Business and worked in corporate strategy, corporate finance, global sales and marketing, and product development in companies across the world.
He won the World Bank India Development Marketplace Award 2007 for providing innovative lighting solutions to tribals and nomads across India. As a social worker, he has taken up various issues concerning urban development and talked about environment and sustainable development at international conferences since 2004.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
The Lok Satta Party today wanted the Government to ensure that students facing annual examinations these days do not suffer from drastic power cuts.
In a media statement, Lok Satta Party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao pointed out that the future of students turns bleak if their studies are disrupted by power cuts in nights on the eve of examinations.
The State Government should exert pressure on the Union Government for allotment of additional gas and power supply from the central power grid.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao wanted the State Government to focus on additional power generation in the forthcoming budget and step up efforts to bring down transmission and distribution losses.
Friday, March 1, 2013
Leaders of the Lok Satta and other political parties and Federation of Independent Farmers' Associations (FIFA) today (Friday, March 1) requested the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Kiran Kumar Reddy to undo the privatization of Nizam Sugars.
The following is the text of the representation made by the leaders to the CM at secretariat. The leaders included Dr.Jayaprakash Narayan (Lok Satta and FIFA), M. Kodanda Reddy, G.Chinna Reddy (Congress), Padma Devender Reddy (TRS), Nagireddy (YCP), Malla Reddy (BJP), Ravula Venkaiah, Pasya Padma (CPI), Janaki Ram (RSP), Kotaiah, DV Krishna (CPI-ML-ND) Chikkudu Prabhakar, M. Appi Reddy, V. Nagireddy (Nizam Sugars Porata Samithi), Ajay, Narsareddy, Rajareddy (Farmers, Bodhan), M.V.Srinivasa Reddy (APCC Kisan Khet Mazdoor Congress), P.Bhaskara Rao (FIFA), Katari Srinivasa Rao (Lok Satta Party).
Sri N. Kiran Kumar Reddy
Hon'ble Chief Minister
Government of Andhra Pradesh
Permit us to bring to your attention that a round table of different political parties and farmers' organizations held at Sundaraiah Vignan Bhavan here today unanimously resolved that the Government annul the privatization of the four units of Nizam Sugars Limited as recommended by the House Committee and endorsed by the Advocate General and the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
The Government parted with NSF assets worth Rs.500 crore for a paltry Rs.67 crore and offered concessions worth about Rs.300 crore to Delta Paper Mills (DPM), besides paying Rs.12 crore as VRS compensation to employees in 2002. The House Committee appointed in 2004 pointed out that NSL a joint venture agreement with DPM was deceitful, irregular and defective. Moreover, DPM violated the terms of the agreement by failing to pay the statutory minimum price to farmers within the stipulated time frame. There was total lack of transparency in the entire transaction, said the House Committee.
The Advocate General too opined that undue favour was shown to DPM resulting in loss to the State and the Government can annul the transaction.
In its verdict on a writ petition filed by NSL cane growers and workers, the High Court referred to the Advocate General's assurance that the Government would take a final decision within six weeks on the House Committee report and observed: "It is indeed very sad that the most valuable public sector sugar factories in Telangana are allowed to be in the illegal possession of the private party."
We would like to point out that the Government who is the custodian of public property has not taken any action so far to annul the joint venture agreement.
We, therefore, strongly urge the State Government to pass orders for the cancellation of the joint venture agreement and takeover all the units of Nizam Sugar Ltd. which were handed over to Delta Paper Mills Ltd. in 2002. Eventually, the Government can hand over the units to farmers if they form a producers’ company. In any case, the Government needs to act immediately to protect the interests of farmers.