Thursday, May 30, 2013
The Telugu Desam Party has failed to unveil any new policies to bale the State out of the present all-round crisis, charged State Lok Satta Party President Katari Srinivasa Rao today.
In a media statement, Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that TDP President Chandrababu Naidu tried to rehash his old policies in a new format, going by proceedings at its Mahanadu at Gandipet on May 27 and 28. Among the main failings of the TDP, here are some:
The TDP continues to swear by debt waiver for farmers as a panacea for the agricultural crisis instead of advocating freedom to the farmer to sell his produce anywhere at a price he can command.
It talks about giving party tickets to some rich BC candidates in elections instead of entrusting them with key posts and providing quality education and skills millions of ordinary BCs and overhauling the reservation system to render them justice.
Although the TDP sings paeans of itsfounder N. T. Rama Rao, it remains silent on his pet dream of empowering local governments with devolution of powers and resources.
The TDP has not clarified how many of ordinary youth will benefit from allocation of 33 percent of party tickets to youth, as it is the children of party leaders including Mr. Chandrababu Naidu who hogged the limelight at the Mahanadu.
The TDP, which is as guilty as the Congress for plunging the State into a crisis on Telangana, has failed to come up with a solution like the Assembly passing a resolution and sending it to the Center.
The TDP promises to abolish belt shops (illegal liquor outlets) forgetting that belt shops flourish so long as retail liquor trade continues to be in the hands of private operators.
Although the TDP has resolved to fight against corruption, it does not spell out measures like institution of a strong and independent Lokayukta, making the ACB autonomous and provision of services to citizens as a matter of right. Its demand for the resignation of a few ministers facing charges of corruption will not address the systemic problem.
Mr. Chandrababu Naidu, who talks of a third front coming to the power at the Center and the TDP playing a pivotal role in it, has failed to address the likelihood of a coalition government emerging in the State as well.
Mr. Sinivasa Rao finally debunked the TTD claim that its income in 2012-13 was only Rs.2.10 crore and expenditure Rs.5.40 crore. If the party revealed how it managed to conduct its Mahanadu and padayatras on a grand scale on such a meager budget, the Lok Satta would like to emulate it and strengthen itself.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
The Lok Satta Party today drew Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy's attention to the plight of jute seed growers in Prakasam and Guntur districts and requested him to go to their rescue through market intervention.
In a representation to the Chief Minister, State Lok Satta Party President Katari Srinivasa Rao pointed out that the market rate for jute seeds has plunged to Rs.1400 a quintal as against Rs. 15000 in West Bengal. Even according to the State Agriculture Department, the cost of production works out to Rs.9000 a quintal.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that jute seed producers in Prakasam and Guntur district are saddled with stocks of nearly 5000 quintals.
The Lok Satta Party President wanted the Chief Minister to direct market committees, which have collected crores of rupees as market cess, to buy the produce from farmers at a fair price. The market committees in turn can sell the produce in West Bengal or to the Jute Corporation of India and make profits.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao informed the Chief Minister that Lok Satta Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan has already drawn the attention of the Cooperation and Agriculture Departments to the crisis jute seed producers are facing.
The Chief Minister promised to talk to Markfed on the problem, according to Mr. Srinivasa Rao.
Mr. P. Bhaskara Rao of the farmers' wing of the Lok Satta Party and Mr. Edara Ratna Rao of the Federation of Independent Farmers' Associations, accompanied Mr. Srinivasa Rao.
The following is the text of the representation submitted to the Cheif Minister of Andhra Pradesh Mr. N. Kiran Kumar Reddy by Lok Satta Party leaders on "the security threat to Hyderabad", at the Secretariat today (May 29, 2013).
Sri N. Kiran Kumar Reddy
Hon'ble Chief Minister
Govt. of Andhra Pradesh
Let us on behalf of the Lok Satta Party bring to your attention that neither the Hyderabad police nor the National Investigative Agency has made any breakthrough in identifying the perpetrators of the bomb blasts at Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad even nearly 100 days after the suspected terrorist attack.
One of the reasons for the failure of our investigative agencies is the absence of a wide and effective CCTV network in a growing metropolis like Hyderabad.
Our inquiries through the Right to Information reveal that there are just 370 CCTV cameras in areas under the jurisdiction of the Hyderabad Police Commissioner and 51 in areas under the jurisdiction of the Cyberabad Police Commissioner. Of them, 34 cameras in Hyderabad and all the 51 in Cyberabad are dysfunctional. Not a single camera was installed in the years 2011, 2012 and so far during 2013.
According to press reports, the Government of Andhra Pradesh had estimated that Hyderabad would require 3000 CCTV cameras. In fact during the Biodiversity Conference in 2012, the Hyderabad police had sought Rs.300 crore for installation of 3000 cameras.
The Andhra Pradesh Government requested the Prime Minister, who visited Hyderabad in the wake of the Dilsukhnagar blasts, to sanction Rs.450 crore for installation of 3500 CCTV cameras.
We are sorry that there has been no progress in installation of cameras anywhere in Hyderabad since the Dilsukhnagar blasts.
In stark contrast, the Maharahstra Government is going ahead with installation of a large CCTV network at a cost of Rs.864 crore in the wake of the serial blasts that rocked Mumbai.
We need not overemphasize the importance of a CCTV network in all public places in deterring crime and identifying culprits. Within 48 hours of a bomb blast in Boston, the US authorities could nail down the culprits based on CCTV surveillance. And in the latest instance, CCTV surveillance has brought to light the betting going on in IPL cricket in India.
We request you to expedite installation of a CCTV network without further delay considering that Hyderabad has become a destination of choice for terrorists. The State Government with an annual budget of nearly Rs.1.5 lakh crore can afford to spend funds from its own budget for the network and seek reimbursement from the Center subsequently.
Katari Srinivasa Rao,
Lok Satta Party
Lok Satta Party
Lok Satta Party
Lok Satta Party, GHMC
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
The Lok Satta Party has constituted an Election Committee to conduct supplementary elections to fill vacancies in the party at the constituency level on June 6 and 7 and at the district level on June 9.
Giving this information in a media statement here today, State Lok Satta Party President Katari Srinivasa Rao said that the election committee comprises Mr. P.V Gopalakrishna (Convener) and Mr. M. Diwakar and Mr. N. Janardhan (members).
Mr. Gopalakrishna, convener of the Election Committee, had worked with the Independent Election Authority (IEA) in conducting the organizational elections in March – April, 2013.
Elections at the constituency level will take place in Narasannapeta, Palakonda, Rajam, Palakollu, Rayachoti and Bhupalapalli and at district level in West Godavari and NRI districts.
The following is the election schedule:
Nominations for all posts: June 1 & 2
Scrutiny: After 5 pm on June 2
Withdrawals: June 3
Elections in constituencies: June 6 and 7
Elections in districts: June 9
The Committee for supplementary elections hereby calls upon active, life and Executive Members to elect the office bearers, District Council Members and State General Council Members as per the vacancies, if any, for the following constituencies and districts as per the programme of the election enclosed:
I. Constituency level:
a. Narasannapeta, Palakonda and Rajam Legislative Assembly constituencies of Srikakulam District
b. Palacole of West Godavari District
c. Mangalagiri of Guntur District
d. Rayachoti of Kadapa District
e. Bhupalapally of Warangal District
II. District Level:
a. West Godavari District (Except Vice-President - General)
b. NRI District (Office bearers only).
(P.V. GOPALA KRISHNA)
Members of the Committee for Supplementary Elections
Saturday, May 25, 2013
The Lok Satta Party today wanted the State Government to defer all examinations for students in view of the severity of summer which has witnessed hundreds of fatalities due to sunstroke.
In a media statement, Lok Satta Party State President Katari Srinivasa Rao also suggested that the Government declare a paid holiday to workers of Singareni Collieries’ open cast mines.
The Government, in association with NGOs, should launch a publicity campaign on safety measures to be taken and arrange for distribution of water, ORSs sachets. It should make special arrangements to extend free medical aid to sunstroke victims both in Government and private hospitals.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao asked the State and Central Governments to initiate a study into the unusual changes in climate in the recent past and their impact on agriculture and come up with a remedial action plan.
The Independent Election Authority (IEA) which conducted party internal elections clarified in a letter that the Supplementary Elections or filling up of the vacancies will be conducted by the party policy making body itself.
Since the Lok Satta Party working committee has already taken a decision to conduct Supplementary Elections, an Election Committee is constituted to conduct
Supplementary Elections in the notified constituencies and districts. Sri Gopalakrishna, Advocate who worked with the IEA support team will be the convenor, and Sri M.Diwakar and Sri N.Janardhan will serve as committee members.
This Election Committee will issue Notification and conduct election by following the same procedures of the IEA. They will take the services of those willing DEOs and ROs who worked under IEA or with new people identified by them.
1. West Godavari District
2. NRI District
Katari Srinivasa Rao
(State President, Lok Satta Party)
Friday, May 24, 2013
Lok Satta Party State President Katari Srinivasa Rao has requested Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy not to disturb contract lecturers working in Government colleges even as it recruits new lecturers.
In a letter to the Chief Minister, Mr. Srinivasa Rao pointed out that the Government had appointed qualified people as contract lecturers in 820 junior and 250 degree colleges in the year 2000.
The lecturers are haunted by job insecurity as they are appointed on contract basis and have become ineligible to try for other jobs because of age.
While welcoming the Government move to recruit lecturers, Mr. Srinivasa Rao appealed to the Chief Minister to ensure that the contract lecturers already in service are not disturbed in the process.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The Lok Satta Party today charged the Congress, TDP and YSR Congress of colluding with each other in perpetuating corruption even as they trade charges against each other.
Addressing a media conference, State Lok Satta Party President Katari Srinivasa Rao pointedly asked why the three parties which accuse each other of being corrupt have not sought institution of strong anti corruption mechanisms like Lokpal/Lokayukta and autonomy for CBI/ACB.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao underlined that corruption will not go away with a few people resigning from posts or being sent to jail. If the parties are sincere and serious, they should support strong and independent anti corruption mechanisms.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao recalled that the Lok Satta Party had circulated a Bill to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act even as the Congress and TDP traded charges of corruption in the Assembly. But there has been no response from mainstream parties on ushering in institutional changes to eradicate corruption.
The Lok Satta President said that all the three traditional parties are indulging in theatrics to gain political advantage, now that elections are round the corner. It is evident from the way politicians are jumping from one party to another. Their single point goal is winning elections. They have no inhibitions in embracing a party which they have criticized and lampooned till the other day.
Mr. D. V. V. S. Varma, Lok Satta Party Vice President, demanded that all Ministers facing charges should resign forthwith to maintain values in politics.
He said that dynastic politics are taking root in Andhra Pradesh political parties too. "The son rise" in the State is not a manifestation of internal democracy but a relic of monarchies of yore.
Mr. Varma specifically referred to TDP rising star Nara Lokesh's 'pancha ratnas' for fixing the ailments of the State and said they do not go to the roots of problems. For instance, the TDP's promise of debt waiver will not transform the lives of farmers as is evident from two debt waivers in the past. The farmer should have the freedom to sell his produce wherever he wants and at whatever price it fetches. The TDP's promise to shut down belt shops will remain a non-starter so long as the Government treats liquor as a source of revenue and leaves the trade in the hands of private individuals. Similarly, TDP promises in respect of youth and BCs do not address their basic problems of economic self-reliance, education, skills and employment.
Mr. Varma said the UPA II rule has been characterized by a series of scams and economic downturn.
Mrs. N. Saroja Devi and Mr. M. Satyanarayana, party leaders, took part in the media conference.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Lok Satta Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan will be delivering a lecture on “Politicians – Villain or Victim?” at the International Centre Goa, Dona Paula, on May 22.
Mr. Pratapsingh Rane, President of the centre and Leader of Opposition in the Goa Legislative Assembly, will preside.
The centre, a non-profit organization, has been organizing a series of lectures on good governance.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
The Lok Satta Party today decided to join hands with Left parties in the ensuring elections to local bodies.
The State Working Committee of the party, which mere here today with Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao, President in the chair, welcomed the CPI (M) decision to work with Left parties and the Lok Satta in the local body elections.
Having already identified constituencies from which it will contest in panchayat and municipal elections, the Lok Satta Party decided to launch its election campaign from June 1. From June 1 to 15, the party will undertake membership enrolment, flag hoisting and wall writings and hold public meetings. From June 15 to 30, it will organize a 'door-to-door Lok Satta' campaign.
In a media statement, the Lok Satta Party said it would join hands with all parties and forces based on a minimum common program which aims at resolving local problems in a time-bound manner.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
State Lok Satta Party President Katari Srinivasa Rao today sharply criticized the Excise Department proposal for legalization of illegal liquor outlets known as belt shops in the State on the ground their clsoure will lead to illicit distillation of liquor.
In a media statement, Mr. Srinivasa Rao recalled the Chief Minister had publicly announced his intention to close down belt shops in response to a long-standing demand from women. The Lok Satta Party had in the past launched a movement against belt shops as they played havoc with the health and finances of millions of people all over the State. The Government spent only a fraction of the revenue it earned on liquor on the so-called schemes meant for the welfare of the common person. Even as it ruined poor people's health by facilitating easy consumption of liquor, it claimed to take care of their health through schemes like Aarogyasri.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao demanded that the Chief Minister keep his pledge by ensuring that all belt shops are shut down as early as possible. He should not allow his ministerial colleagues to get away by claiming there are no belt shops in the State.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao said the Government would be abdicating its right to govern if it admits that it cannot control illicit distillation in the wake of belt shop clsoure.
The Lok Satta had already suggested that the Government empower and enable village panchayats and self-help groups to control illicit distillation. It can even stipulate that failure to control illicit distillation will result in the elected panchayat being dissolved.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao reiterated the Lok Satta Party demand that the Government itself run liquor outlets instead of allocating them to private individuals. Belt shops cannot be eliminated as long as private operators are in place as proliferation of belt shops will boost their sales, revenue and profits. The Government should effect the change in the new excise year, which is round the corner.
The Lok Satta Party, Mr. Srinivasa Rao said, would like the Government to restrict liquor consumption by limiting the number of official outlets and their working hours, shut down all illegal outlets and put down with an iron hand illicit distillation and gudumba manufactaure.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
The Congress victory in Karnataka should not be construed as a vote for it at the national level, Lok Satta Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said today. In a media statement, he pointed out that the Congress has come to power on the plank of an anti BJP vote because of local conditions.
Dr. JP said that the Congress has gained from people's revulsion against corruption, bad governance and utter failure in key sectors and split in BJP party ranks. The Congress at the national level now and in Karnataka when it ruled the State in the past is no different from the BJP. Yet, the people voted for the Congress because they have found no alternative.
Dr. JP said that by defeating the BJP and voting for the Congress, the people in Karnataka have fallen from the frying pan into the fire. A race has already begun in Karnataka for the Chief Minister's post. He hoped that the Congress which has won by default will utilize the opportunity to provide good governance by choosing a person of integrity and competence as Chief Minister.
Dr. JP said it is a matter of concern that both the Congress and the BJP at the national level are mired in a crisis. The exit of a strong leader from the BJP in Karnataka and the death of a strong leader and the rise of the Telangana demand in Andhra Pradesh have plunged the two parties into a crisis.
Dr.JP pointed out that in a large number of constituencies candidates spent Rs.15-20 crore each, reflecting the sad state of electoral politics.
Dr. JP appealed to the Congress and the BJP to put an end to their bankrupt vote bank politics and undemocratic tendencies and focus on constructive measures to bale the country out of the economic, political and administrative quagmire.
Andhra Pradesh Lok Satta Party President Katari Srinivasa Rao said that the Lok Satta which contested in 24 seats in Karnataka has registered encouraging results. It has polled about 10,000 votes in a couple of constituencies and fared better than the JD (S) in some Bengaluru constituencies.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that voters in urban conglomerations in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are looking for an alternative to the traditional parties. Karnataka results underline that the Lok Satta has the potential to emerge as the alternative if it strengthens itself in tune with people's aspirations.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Lok Satta Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today described the Union Cabinet decision to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act providing for confiscation of ill-gotten properties of corrupt public servants and imposing a time frame for sanction of prosecution as "small and positive steps" in the fight against corruption.
In a media statement, he said that corruption cannot be exorcized unless a number of other steps are initiated without further delay.
Dr. JP listed them as follows:
- Institution of strong and independent anti corruption mechanisms like Lokpal and Lokayuktas at the Central and State levels
- Grant of autonomy to the CBI at the Center and ACBs in States
- Appointment of independent prosecutors at the Central and State levels
- Transfer of prosecution powers from the Government to independent authorities like Lokpal/Lokayuktas
- Formation of special courts as recommended by Lokpal/Lokayuktas
- Enactment of a law providing for service guarantee to eliminate petty corruption at grass roots
Dr. JP hoped the Union Government would take follow up measures to end the menace of corruption.