Wednesday, July 30, 2014
The Telangana Loksatta Party has named Dr. M. Panduranga Rao as the chief official spokesman of the Party. Mr. Bandaru Rammohan Rao, Telangana Party State President, in a media statement said that Mrs. K. Geetha Murthy, Mr. V. Lakshman Balaji and Mr. P. Bhasakara Rao will be the other official spokespersons of Loksatta Party.
Friday, July 25, 2014
In the wake of the ghastly accident at Masaipet railway level crossing in Medak district on July 24, the Loksatta Party will be launching a survey to ascertain the magnitude of the failure of the Government school education system.
The survey will be undertaken by a team led by party secretary Tummanapalli Srinivas, said Telangana Loksatta Party President Bandaru Ramamohan Rao in a media statement here today.
The survey will focus on standards, amenities and the number of students in both Government and private schools at Islampur, Gundreddipalli, Kistapur and Venkataipalli villages to which most of the accident victims belonged and those at Toopran mandal headquarters to which a large number of students commute daily for education.
The party will release its findings in the next one week and exert pressure on the Government to realize its long standing demand of ensuring free, quality education to every child without any discrimination, said Bandaru.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Expressing his great shock over the death of innocent school children in a ghastly accident at an unmanned level crossing in Medak district today, Loksatta Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said such tragedies should be averted at any cost.
In a media statement, Dr. JP said that “in this day and age we must not spare any expenditure to ensure safety. Every intersection should be covered by an overbridge or an underpass and all unmanned level crossings eliminated.”
According to the Railway Budget presented earlier this month, as many11,563 of the 30,348 level crossings in Indian Railways are unmanned. The Railway Minister said that “each unmanned level crossing is being examined in detail and depending on the site condition action will be taken to eliminate it by suitable modality.” Making an allocation of Rs 1,785 crore for road-under-bridges and road-over-bridges, the Railway Minister asked State Governments concerned to speed up their proposals and pass on their share of the cost to the Centre.
Dr. JP said that the Medak level crossing accident should serve as a wakeup call and prod the Union and State Governments to eliminate all unmanned level crossings as early as possible.
The tragedy also highlights the appalling educational infrastructure in the country, said Dr. JP. That poor and middle class families are compelled to send their children to private schools located up to 15 km away from their homes at considerable expense is a sad commentary on the prevailing system. Can’t the Government liberate our kids from risky and long commutes in their quest for the basic right to education, asked Dr. JP.
Dr. JP conveyed his deepest condolences to the families of all the accident victims.
Telangana State Loksatta Party President Bandaru Rammohan Rao, who visited the accident site said that about 6,000 students from neighboring villages attend private schools in Toopran daily.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
While welcoming Panchayat Raj Minister K. T. Rama Rao’s decision to strengthen local governments, Telangana Loksatta Party President Bandaru Ramamohan Rao said that it is possible only when they are conferred powers, resources and personnel in adequate measure.
In a media statement, Bandaru pointed out that Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of gram swaraj has remained unfulfilled more than six decades after Independence because of the reluctance of State Governments to empower local self-governments. Even the 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution have remained largely on paper. As a result, people at the grass root level are forced to approach MLAs and MPs and even Ministers and the Chief Minister to get even minor grievances redressed.
Bandaru wanted the State Government to give a per capita annual grant of Rs.1000 to every panchayat and every ward/division in municipal bodies so that locally elected representatives can attend to immediate needs like maintenance of internal roads, street lighting and sanitation and drinking water supply. Since all such works are carried out in full public view, the scope for corruption gets minimized. As of now, there are huge leakages by the time the funds are allocated through different channels and spent by multiple agencies.
In fact, the Loksatta Party is trying to impress upon the 14th Finance Commission the importance of devolving a certain portion of funds meant for States directly on districts.
Bandaru said that panchayats can also be entrusted with the responsibility of controlling illicit liquor flow and unauthorized sale of liquor.
The Government can always wield the stick in case there are instances of abuse of authority or misuse of funds, Bandaru added.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
The Andhra Pradesh Government should make budgetary allocation for fulfilling its loan waiver promises but not resort to sale or mortgage of its assets or pledge its future revenue to raise resources, said Andhra Pradesh Loksatta Party President D. V. V. S. Varma here today.
In a media statement, Mr. Varma faulted Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu for planning to sell red sanders and tapping revenue from mining of sand and scarce minerals to implement his election-eve pledge to write off loans.
The Government should endeavour to build upon its assets and not fritter them away for programs like loan waivers. It should find budgetary resources by cutting down on non-Plan and wasteful expenditure, arresting leakages in tax collection and applying brakes on populist schemes. The future of Andhra Pradesh will be in jeopardy if the Government gambles with its assets, warned Mr. Varma.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
ఎన్నికల వ్యవస్థలోని ప్రమాదకర వైరుధ్యాన్ని తొలగించాలి: జేపీ - రాజకీయ నాయకత్వంలో ఇండియన్ ఆఫ్ ద ఇయర్ గా ఎంపిక
The “dangerous dichotomy” in the electoral system has to be put an end to if India is not to miss the 21st century, said Loksatta Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan in Mumbai on July 18.
Addressing the India Leadership Conclave 2014 on ‘Governance, Democratic Reforms & Economic Freedom,’ Dr. JP said that under the present dispensation most of those who get elected to legislatures are to unfit to govern whole those who are fit to govern are unfit to get elected.
Indian Affairs, a division of Network 7 Media Group, organized the conclave and Indian Affairs Business Leadership Awards 2014.
Dr. JP was chosen Indian of the Year 2014 in Political Leadership for his “outstanding and remarkable contribution”. The selection was made by an eminent jury which included the likes of Infosys founder N. R. Narayana Murthy.
In his presentation, Dr. JP advocated replacement of the present first-past-the-post electoral system by proportional representation so that the best and the brightest can find a place in legislatures. A switchover to the PR system will ward off the need for politicians to induce voters with money, liquor or sops.
Dr. JP said that blaming politicians for the present state of affairs or expecting too much from them will not produce a solution. However committed an individual is, he or she cannot go beyond a point. After all, politicians do not have a magic wand. Similarly, reposing too much faith in courts or the Election Commission will not help.
The root of the problem lies in failure of governance. Successive Governments have consistently failed to discharge what is expected of them. They are supposed to ensure rule of law, provide quality education and health care to all and create basic infrastructure. As a result, frustrated people turn angry. Failing to fulfill people’s aspirations, politicians in their bid to get elected entice voters with money and liquor or sops like loan wavers. Or they try to garner votes by dividing people and promoting envy and hatred on the basis of caste and religion or region and language. Such a low level of equilibrium in politics has to be disrupted as soon as possible if India is not to miss the 21st century.
Empowerment of the local community and tapping their energies, enactment of a service guarantee law, institution of basic rule of law and political reforms like proportional representation system have to be initiated if politics are to be elevated to a higher plane.
Elaborating on rule of law, Dr. JP said that nowhere in the world the number of criminal cases is double those of civic cases as in India. While criminal justice cannot be outsourced, civil justice can be outsourced to goondas or politicians.
Dr. JP underlined that India has only a small window of opportunity to catch up with developed nations in the present highly integrated world economy. During the industrial revolution, registering a growth rate of one or two percent appeared to be spectacular. India does not have such a luxury today. The Manmohan Singh Government was booted out because the growth rate plummeted to five percent from nine percent. Things have to be set right fast if people’s aspirations are to be fulfilled.
The window of opportunity is provided by China which is vacating low-value manufacturing for reasons ranging from aging workers to higher wages. If India does not seize the opportunity and occupy the vacuum, countries in South East Asia, Africa and Latin American will overtake it.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Loksatta Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan will be speaking on ‘Governance, Democratic Reforms & Economic Freedom’ at the India Leadership Conclave 2014 in Mumbai on July 18. The conclave’s theme is ‘Perform or Perish.’
The conclave and Indian Affairs Business Leadership Awards 2014 are being organized by Indian Affairs, a division of Network 7 Media Group.
According to Mr. Satya Brahma, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Network 7 Media Group, more than 250 industry leaders are expected to take part in the conclave.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Mr. Bandaru Ramamohan Rao of Hyderabad has been elected President and Mr. Marepally Srinivas Reddy of Nalgonda General Secretary of the Telangana State Committee of the Loksatta Party.
Members of the Adhoc Committee for Telangana appointed by Loksatta Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan elected the office-bearers by secret ballot at a meeting held at the party headquarters here on July 14. Mr. P. Kodanda Rama Rao, Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, presided over the meeting.
Dr. JP later ratified the office-bearer’s election.
The following are the other office-bearers:
Vice Presidents: Mr. M Pandu Ranga Rao (Hyderabad), Mrs. Geeta Murthy (Open-Nizamabad/Hyderabad), Mr. Md Gouse Mouniddin (Minority/ BC/SC/ST- Mahaboobnagar), Mr. Maheswarapu Gattaiah (Warangal) and Mrs. D Laxmi (Women-Hyderabad).
Secretaries: Mr. Thummanapally Srinivas (Medak), Mr. Sathuluri Govinda Rao (Nalgonda), Mr. Kurma Jagan (Ranga Reddy), Mr. Bollam Ravi (Karimnagar), Mrs. Saroja Devi (Women – Hyderabad) and Mr. Jatti Ravi (SC/ST/Minority – Warangal).
Treasurer: Mr. P Bhaskar Rao (Hyderabad).
Mrs. S. Gajanani and Mr. P. Shivaji Raju, both from Hyderabad, have been elected Presidents of Mahila and Yuva Sattas).
Thursday, July 10, 2014
While welcoming Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s initiatives to revive the derailed economy and fulfill people’s aspirations, Loksatta Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said the Union finance budget is short on specifics in some matters and outright deficient in some others.
Addressing a media conference here today, Dr. JP pointed out that there is welcome continuity in following the previous Government’s road map for reining in fiscal and revenue deficits. The budget has sought to promote manufacturing and improve infrastructure by offering customs duty, excise and income tax incentives. It has outlined measures to attract investments in a number of sectors and plans to expedite introduction of GST (goods and services tax). It has provided income tax relief by raising the exemption limit. There are added incentives for savings. All these are positive steps which will stimulate the economy, build infrastructure and promote jobs.
He noted the Union Finance Minister has clearly stated that the assurances to both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh States will be honored and announced opening of certain educational institutions.
The Union budget, Dr. JP said, is however vague in certain matters. Mr. Arun Jaitley has not specified how he is going to reduce the nearly Rs.3 lakh crore subsidies on food, fuel and fertilizers. He has chosen to appoint an expenditure management commission. He has not spelt out how he is going to rein in the fiscal deficit and seems to be banking on a nearly 20 percent increase in tax revenue, unfazed by the anemic economy. He has not outlined how Rs.2.40 lakh crore will be raised to meet the capital adequacy norms of public sector banks or how public sector undertakings will invest Rs.2.48 lakh crore.
Dr. JP said the budget has failed to address problems in the agriculture, education and healthcare sectors. Fifty percent of the country’s population continues to depend on agriculture although its contribution to GDP is only 14 percent. The budget ought to have contained measures to boost, for instance, production of oilseeds and pulses by imposing duties on imports, and offering production incentives to farmers. Instead, the Government is resorting to knee jerk reactions like banning export of produce like onions and potato and bringing them under the purview of the Essential Commodities Act. Only higher production, supply chain logistics and value addition will reduce inflation while enhancing farmers’ incomes.
Dr. JP said the budget did not provide any road map for ushering in a national health service as in Britain. It has not attempted to address the problem of appalling educational standards in schools and colleges.
Dr. JP pointed out that the next 10 years are crucial for India. People have for the first time in a normal election after 1980 given a clear mandate to a single party in the hope that it will help them realize their hopes and aspirations. All our energies and resources should be focused on employment generation, economic growth, creating opportunities for all, and eradication of poverty. If we miss the bus now, two generations will pay a heavy price, and the 21st century would bypass India. He hoped the NDA Government would live up to people’s expectations by undertaking course correction in areas he referred to.
Loksatta leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao, Bandaru Ramamohan Rao and Mrs. N. Saroja Devi took part in the media conference.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Loksatta Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan has appointed Adhoc Committees to run party affairs in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana States and expanded the party’s Greater Hyderabad unit.
In a media statement issued here today, Dr. JP named Mr. D. V. V. S. Varma as President and Mr. A. S. Ramesh Reddy as General Secretary of the Andhra Pradesh unit. He has appointed Messrs YD Rama Rao, K Omkar, Beeshetti A Babji (BC), Narra Sridhar, Chennupati Vazeer, Panchadi Rambabu (BC) and Venkateswarlu (SC) as Vice Presidents, and Messrs J Iramurthy (BC), TR Jagannatha Reddy, S Janakirama Raju, Smt Sunitha Chowdary, M Siddhaiah Naidu, PV Ramana (SC) and Mohd Ismail (minority) as Secretaries.
Dr. Kondiah has been appointed Chairman and D Vishnumurthy Secretary of the AP Disciplinary Committee. Its other members are Dr K. Pattabhi Ramaiah, G Janaki Rama Raju, Dr P Chandra Mouli and Dr Radha Devi.
Dr. JP said that Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao and Mr. Ravi Maruth (elected President and General Secretary of the party in united Andhra Pradesh) will be members of the National Council. Both of them will be special invitees in the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana State Committees and have full voting rights in both committees.
The Andhra Pradesh State Committee will be in office until further orders or until elections are held in the State party, whichever is earlier.
Adhoc Committee for Telangana State comprises the following members: Dr Bhaskar Rao P, Smt Gajanani, Gattaiah G, Smt Geetha Murthy K, Gouse Moinudin Mohd., Govinda Rao, Dr GV Rao, Jagan Kurma, Kodanda Rama Rao P, Lakshman Balaji, Smt Laxmi Datla, Dr GR Linga Murthy, Dr Panduranga Rao, Ramachandraiah V, Rama Raju LV, Rami Reddy Dr, Rammohan Rao Bandaru, Ramu Dosapati, Ravi Bollam, Ravi Kumar Jatti, Smt. Saroja Devi, Shivaji Raju, Sivaramakrishna K, Srinivas Tummanapalli and Srinivasa Reddy.
Mr. P. Kodanda Rama Rao, Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, will convene and chair the first meeting of the Telangana State Committee. The Telangana State Committee will choose its office-bearers in the first meeting and send the list to the national President for ratification. The Telangana State Committee will be in office until further orders or until elections are held, whichever is earlier.
The GHMC Lok Satta Party Committee has been expanded with the induction of all the candidates who contested the 2014 Assembly elections and a few key leaders. The newly constituted GHMC committee comprises the following:
Messrs Ramu Dosapati – President, Venugopal -- General Secretary, Srinivas Gorthi, Smt Bhavani P. and Siva Rama Krishna -- Vice Presidents, Satyanarayana and Babu Anand -- Secretaries, Babu Rao (Malakpet), Devi Prasad (Maheshwaram), Dilip Shankar Reddy (Malkajgiri), Smt Hyma Praveen (Sanathnagar), Jagan Mohan Metla (Amberpet), Smt. Kantimati Kannan (Nampally), Dr Lingamurthy (Medchal), Rajeswara Rao (Serilingampally), Ramachander Rao (Khairatabad), Ratnam Dasari (Cantonment), Rohit Kumar (Musheerabad), Sai Baba (Karwan), Sambi Reddy (Jubilee Hills), Sivaji Raju (Quthbullapur), Solkar Reddy (Rajendra Nagar), Srinivasan (Kukatpally), Smt Sunitha (Secunderabad), Venkatreddy (Uppal) – Members. Messrs Seshagiri Rao, Smt Saroja, Srinivasa Varma K (Malkajgiri), Srinivas Reddy (LB Nagar) and Sivaramakrishna K will be special invitees.
Mr. K Sivarama Krishna of the State committee will coordinate with the GHMC committee. The GHMC unit will have its own office and bank account. It will take steps to strengthen the party and organize activities in Greater Hyderabad.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
The Loksatta Party today welcomed the genuine effort by Union Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda to “end the era of reckless populism and lay the foundation for improved traffic infrastructure.”
In a media statement, Loksatta Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said that the broad trajectory of the railway budget is in keeping with the NDA Government’s objective of accelerating economic growth and creating employment.
Dr. JP said the emphasis on public-private partnership and private investments and the determination to make decisions based on commercial and viability considerations are welcome departures from ad hoc measures that punctuated the earlier regime for a decade.
While welcoming the Railway Minister’s initiative to improve track and start high speed trains, Dr. JP pointed out that bullet trains will be highly expensive and unviable unless traffic density is very high and passengers are willing and capable of paying high fares. Against such a backdrop, it is pleasing to note that the Railway Minister is ready to pursue low-cost options after a survey by the Japanese.
Dr. JP also suggested that an independent statutory railway authority be created to maintain the track and signalling systems so that there can be genuine competition between public and private train operators.
Referring to the focus on Maharashtra and Karnataka in the railway budget, Dr. JP noted that old habits die hard. The Government should take decisions based on economic rationale and commercial viability and not succumb to populism in such a vital sector as the railways.