The Chief Reporter,
Loksatta Party has suspended DVVS Varma, Katari Srinivasa Rao and Ramesh Reddy from the membership of the party for reasons of gross indiscipline. These three gentlemen no longer hold any official position in the party at any level, city/district, state or national. As such none of them can claim to speak for the party any longer and no communication issued by any or all of these three gentlemen will be deemed to be official communication of the Loksatta Party. This is for your information.
All official communication relating to Loksatta Party will for the time being be issued by one or more of the following persons only:
1. Mr Surendra Srivastava, National President
2. Ms Hyma Potineni, National General Secretary
3. Mr Srinivas Alavilli, National Communications Chairperson
The party is pained by the behaviour of some of its senior members who have gone public with internal matters, precipitating disciplinary action. No one is indispensable. The party is bigger than individuals and the nation is bigger than the party. Loksatta Party will march ahead as a platform for the new generation of India.
With warm regards,
Loksatta Party Founder President
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Loksatta Party founder Dr.Jayaprakash Narayan’s response on Union Budget 2015-16:
The Finance Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley has presented a path-breaking, solid budget that has firmly set the direction for growth, social justice and job creation. He could have done more - particularly in delivery of education and healthcare, and empowering and involving local governments.
The most striking features of the budget are - the architecture of universal pension scheme, social security and personal insurance; boost to investment and economic growth; and substantial tax rationalization. Several social security schemes - accident insurance, pension plan, life insurance, senior citizens fund etc, if properly implemented, will provide much-needed social security to the unorganized sector and poor. This coupled with greater choice on EPF and ESI to the organized sector makes lives of the low income workers much better.
The overall goal of boosting investment has been accomplished by several significant measures. MUDRA bank for MSMES, comprehensive bankruptcy code, boost to infrastructure expenditure, creation of national infrastructure fund and tax-free infrastructure bonds, gold monetization scheme, focus on ease of doing business, and deepening bond market - all these will boost investment and infrastructure.
For the medium term, the FM attempted substantial rationalization of taxes. Phased reduction of corporate tax to 25%, removal of many exemptions, higher tax of 2% on super rich, abolition of wealth tax, firm commitment to launch GST from April 2016 and other tax proposals are long overdue and welcome.
Significant initiatives have been announced to curb black money and reduce corruption. The comprehensive new law on black money stashed away abroad will certainly act as a deterrent against flight of capital or undeclared foreign assets. Similarly strengthening the law against benami holdings and measures to promote non-cash transactions are in positive direction to curb domestic black money. Equally procurement law could curb corruption.
The FM has sensibly recalibrated FRBM targets, moving the fiscal deficit target of 3% to 2017-18 is a wise move that allows greater flexibility to raise borrowings for infrastructure investment. Similarly the move for direct transfer of subsidies to prevent leakages is in line with the policy in place.
Though the budget is impressive and path-breaking in many ways, there are serious omissions in it. By accepting the Finance Commission’s recommendations and increasing States’ share of central revenues from 32% to 42%, the government made a vital break through. But local governments are not yet treated as the third tier of federalism. The FM lost a great opportunity to transfer a significant share of states’ devolution directly to local governments, particularly for Swachh Bharat Mission and local service delivery. Ultimately citizen satisfaction is linked to participation, accountability and local delivery. There should have been a major attempt to link resources with service delivery and to fuse authority with accountability. Equally glaring is the failure to recognize the appalling outcomes of education and healthcare, leading to misery, perpetuation of poverty and lack of opportunity for the poor. Radical overhaul in both sectors incorporating choice, competition, public-private partnership, innovation, decentralization and accountability is warranted. This budget could have been a perfect 10 if these three challenges have been addressed.
India needs to move to outcomes and opportunity for the poor in place of allocations and short-term subsides. Let us hope the unfinished task will not be ignored for long.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
The LokSatta Party has welcomed Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu's focus on "customer experience, safety, infrastructure and self-sustenance" in Rail Budget 2015. Prabhu announced that Rs 8.5 lakh crore would be invested in the railways over the next five years to de-congest and expand the network. This spells good news for passengers who can hope to experience better facilities in the years to come.
Welcoming the broad direction of the budget, LokSatta founder Jayaprakash Narayan tweeted: "Focus on big picture rather than on nitpicking, long-term vision & integration with other sectoral goals are hallmarks of Prabhu’s budget. Railways can emerge as an engine of growth & job creation. Leadership, competence, integrity & imagination matter (sic)."
The party also welcomed Prabhu's decision not to announce new trains or projects but to focus on completing existing works. LSP national vice-president Dr. Ashwin Mahesh said many such announcements made every year by successive railway ministers have failed to see the light of day. He welcomed the decision to work to increase train speeds and have more semi high-speed trains but sounded a note of caution when he said these improvements must come only on the back of an upgrade and better maintenance of the railway network.
Among other announcements that the party welcomed were the decisions to replace 17,000 toilets with bio-toilets, set up an all-India 24x7 helpline number, create a mobile application to address passenger complaints, launch ‘Operation 5 minutes’ that will ensure that a passenger travelling unreserved can purchase a ticket within five minutes, offer paperless ticketing, set up SMS alert services to inform passengers about arrivals and departures, and provide modern facilities for disabled and senior citizens.
LSP national spokesperson Jagadheeswaran D said these steps need to be implemented quickly to improve both the passenger experience and the railways' safety record, which hasn't been encouraging in recent years.
Monday, February 23, 2015
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Loksatta Founder President Dr Jayaprakash Narayan, National President Surendra Srivastava and National General Secretary Ms Hyma Potineni addressed the media today regarding party organizational matters and recent developments.
The National President Mr Surendra Srivastava shared his pain and anguish at the recent turn of events that defamed the unblemished reputation of Loksatta and Dr JP. "Loksatta has always stood for high standards of conduct. This breach of decorum and discipline in public by my own Loksatta brethren with whom we have worked have over a decade has left me deeply aggrieved. Unlike other political parties, Loksatta's firm commitment to liberal values of debate and dissent have enabled us to provide umpteen internal party forums for all members and leaders alike to air their differences and arrive at well thought through solutions to achieve our common goals. Despite all the available internal resources and unlimited access to Dr JP and myself, when senior party leaders have acted with indiscipline, it not only fills us with pain, but we also are learning lessons and evolving the party as a stronger unit. We will succeed and establish Loksatta as the default platform of the youth of India!"
Ms Hyma Potineni, the National General Secretary said, "Our President, Mr Surendra Srivastava has even invited Mr Varma and Mr Katari to stay at his residence in Mumbai and discuss and resolve differences amicably. He has himself traveled to Hyderabad and Guntur to reach an understanding and also invited them to join the National Teams to steer the party in the right direction with their experience. They have unfortunately refused to engage and further aggravated the situation through public defamation."
Dr Jayaprakash Narayan said, "We are pained with the behavior of senior party members who have gone public with internal matters and forced this action. No one is indispensable. Period. The party is bigger than the individuals and the nation is bigger than the party. Loksatta will march ahead with momentum as the platform for the young people of India. The National President Mr Surendra Srivastava and his national team will take the party forward. This matter is closed."
He also added, "Loksatta has the historic role of defining new politics and involving the youth and new faces in transforming political culture. Surendra Srivastava will now announce the new Loksatta AP State Unit leadership."
The National President Mr Surendra Srivastava announced Dr Pattabhiramaiah as the Interim AP State President and Mr Bheesetti Babji as the Interim AP State General Secretary. "After extensive consultations with all key stakeholders and leaders, and with Dr Jayaprakash Narayan's considered opinion, we have arrived at the new leadership team. Dr Pattabhiramaiah is a founder member of Loksatta and a long standing and highly respected public personality in Krishna Dist and is deeply imbibed of Loksatta values. Mr. Bheesetti Babji is also a founder member and a grassroots leader who has fought many a battle against the mighty and powerful corrupt elements in the highest echelons of our government. Under their able guidance, I’m confident the A.P state unit will soon be able to rally itself out of the internal chaos that has reigned in the past several months and focus instead on public interest and party building."
Dr Pattabhiramaiah, the Interim AP State President said, "I have been asked to stand up and take charge at a time of need for Loksatta and I will do everything in my ability to grow the party."
Mr Bheesetti Babji, the Interim AP State General Secretary added that, "The need of the hour is for Loksatta to take the true causes of the people of AP and that is exactly what we are determined to do."
Lok Satta Times Feb 1st-15th, 2015 - http://ap.loksatta.org/documents/lstimes/lstimes-2015-02-01-15.pdf
Friday, February 20, 2015
Loksatta Party National President Surendra Srivastava, National General Secretary Ms. Hyma Potineni along with Founder of Loksatta, Dr.Jayaprakash Narayan addressed media in Hyderabad today.
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan briefed the press persons about the whopping response to the ‘Loksatta Youth Army Drive’ of Loksatta party that was launched on 14th February in Hyderabad. 1000 students joined the party, 150 of whom were invited to interact with the leaders and formally welcomed into the party. Dr. JP said “Politics is no longer a dirty word. Today’s youth look at Loksatta Party as the right platform to pursue politics and steer the nation in the right direction. The love and affection that young people show keeps me going. I am thrilled to invite all these young men and women into Loksatta. This is now your party!” “Education Skills, employment, healthcare and incomes constitute true welfare; not short-term freebies”. Dr JP declared. Lok Satta’s politics is about ending poverty; not perpetuating poverty and using the poor as vote banks”, he said.
Mr. Surendra Srivastava, National President, announced that Loksatta is now the default party of the youth. “All changes are being made to make Loksatta the preferred platform of the young and bright citizens of India. The new National Team, the various functional teams, state structures, party programs and decision making is being transferred to young hands and minds. My sole aim is to ignite young minds so they can grow as political leaders in Loksatta, taking charge of the future of India. Other parties select leaders based on caste and lineage, money and vote banks. Loksatta welcomes the brightest and best young who are willing to serve the country as volunteers and leaders. When the youth of India win, it is a victory for India!”, he added.
Mr. Srivastava concluded his remarks by adding that, “In 2015, citizens of India are looking at political parties to address the biggest concerns facing them –employment, safety, and environment. Politics of traditional parties that divide people with caste/religion/region/language are no longer viable for today’s generation and BJP will follow Congress in few years if it doesn’t learn lessons from Delhi. Loksatta is the answer for India's progress with the right mix of pro people and pro jobs policies, and it is heartening that the youngsters of Hyderabad see that too! Mr. Bandaru Rama Mohana Rao and Mr. Dosapaty Ramu have taken this message successfully to the people."
Mr. Dosapaty Ramu, Greater Hyderabad Unit President who lead the Loksatta Youth Army Drive in various parts of Hyderabad said, “The youth of Hyderabad have always had a special affection and respect for Loksatta. It is a natural platform for them.”
Mr Sambi Reddy, Special Emissary to National President, Mr Bheesetti Babji the new Interim Caretaker for Loksatta AP State, Vasantha Gullapalli Chairperson NODC, Tara, Chairperson NSPDMC and Srinivas, Chairperson NCC also participated in the press meet.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Monday, February 16, 2015
Friday, February 13, 2015
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Every concerned citizen, every passionate soul lamenting the decline in our political culture, must whole-heartedly welcome the resounding verdict of Delhi Voters in favour of AAP. This is a victory of new politics for a new generation.
Those who yield to cynicism and despair are once again proved wrong. This election has significance beyond Delhi, and beyond the fortunes of political parties. It is important to decipher the meaning of this verdict. If we indulge in traditional zero-sum analysis, and treat it as a part of power game, India will lose.
There are three important messages from voters of Delhi. First, people are demanding a new political culture. This vote above all is rejection of politics as usual, against kleptocracy, plutocracy, dynastic politics, and politics as private business and personal aggrandizement. This is a verdict for politics involving partnership of middle classes, youth and the poor. All traditional parties are trapped in a vicious cycle. In a poor, illiterate country it is easy to fall into the trap of vote buying, polarization based on primordial loyalties and freebies. BJP is better than Congress because they stayed away from dynastic politics and freebies. They also showed readiness to embrace credible faces and elevate them to leadership. But these are still initial, symbolic steps. What we need is a new culture in which any talented, passionate citizen can join a party and emerge as a leader quickly through her ability, agenda, leadership skills and persuasive power. In other respects of use of abnormal, unaccounted money power, a culture of centralization, and people divorced from politics and treated merely as voters and vote banks are common to all traditional parties. The hapless people are now saying enough is enough. We want a new people-centered political culture.
Second, this verdict is not about Modi’s fall from grace. Modi and BJP were elected with a mandate to promote growth, jobs and good governance at the national level. AAP is elected for a new political culture and decentralized governance empowering people and accountable to them. These two are not contradictory; they are complementary. Modi erred in investing his political capital in a local election. This is not about monopoly of power everywhere. Elections to Parliament, state, city and panchayat are not the same. People of Delhi, being more mature politically, understand the difference between Parliament and Panchayats. Each tier has its role, and people know that real delivery and accountability are at local level.
Third, this does not make all arguments of AAP right. AAP’s advocacy and struggle for people-centered, participative, corruption-free politics are vital and people resoundingly endorsed it. But this is not an uncritical endorsement of anarchic, anti-institutional political culture of AAP, nor is it is a support for short-term freebies at the cost of infrastructure, education, healthcare and jobs that will eliminate poverty.
All of India wants to see a new political culture. This yearning for new politics found dramatic expression in Delhi because of a combination of happy circumstances. The high income percapita and literacy of Delhi, the more nuanced political awareness, absence of polarization based on primordial loyalties, the crystallization of people’s attitudes because of the anticorruption and women’s safety movements centered around the capital city, the sustained and breathless media attention for over two years, and the political vacuum created by the elimination of Congress from the competition created conditions for a perfect storm. The result is a remarkable verdict that has the potential to reshape our politics.
The established traditional parties steeped in the old political culture must now respond creatively and wisely. This is not about turf war. This is a fight between the old, centralized, dysfunctional, increasingly illegitimate political order and the new generation political order. If they utilize this opportunity and find the courage, leadership and energy to transform their parties and make them people-centered and free from the scourges of plutocracy and kleptocracy, India will swiftly emerge as a great democracy; not merely the largest democracy.
The champions of new politics must correct serious flaws to become a part of the solution. Many AAP leaders and activists earlier, during IAC days, rejected politics and made dramatic, emotional, irresponsible pledges: sample – politics is illegitimate, they will never join politics, and if they do, they should be beaten with chappals. It is a sign of maturity that they had recognized that true politics is noble and central to democratic society, and embraced politics with a gusto. But they still resort to anarchic politics of vituperation, protest and nihilism doing immense damage to the society and institutions of state. Mature deliberation, informed debate, enlightened public discourse, mutual respect, commitment to rule of law, civility and willingness to persuade or accept the other point of view – these are the foundations of a robust, mature, progressive democracy.
And it is not enough to fight for clean politics. New politics cannot promote short-term freebies and reckless populism at the cost of a better tomorrow. Quality education, healthcare, infrastructure, skills, jobs, and effective, corruption-free service delivery – these are the only real means of eradicating poverty.
This is a moment of great opportunity and hope. We need to now forge ahead. A large, complex, continental nation will not change overnight. But change for the better it will; it is only a matter of relentless effort and time. Let us rejoice the moment and accelerate this process of change.
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Friday, February 6, 2015
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, Founder and Mr Surendra Srivastava, National President of Loksatta Party congratulated Ms. Hyma Potineni, National General Secretary and Mr. Sambi Reddy, Special Emissary to the National President on their successful tour of Andhra Pradesh state. In their 2 day tour they undertook, they met with district leaders Dr. V.V. Rama Rao, Raj Varma, Smt. Jhansi, Sreedevi, Venugopal, Kishore Kumaran, Rambabu, Poli Naidu, Jalla Ravi, MV. Rajagopal, PVK Sekhar and several other office bearers, members and supporters in Rajamundry, Kakinada, Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam.
Hyma Potineni highlighted the steps taken by the party leadership to recruit new members, raise funds and engage members to actively participate in party work. Sambi Reddy requested local leadership to seek feedback from not only members but also from Loksatta supporters and voters in order to strengthen the party.
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan and Mr Surendra Srivastava called upon all young people to come forward to build Loksatta. Mr Srivastava will be touring Tamilnadu on 13th and 14th February along with Ms Hyma.