Monday, December 8, 2008

Lok Satta to go it alone, contest for all seats

HYDERABAD: The Lok Satta Party will field its candidates in all the 294 constituencies in the 2009 elections to the Legislative Assembly.

Announcing this at a press conference here on Sunday, Lok Satta president Jayaprakash Narayan said that his party had decided to go it alone because no party was willing to conform to the minimum standards of political behaviour stipulated by the party.

The Lok Satta Party would like parties to pledge themselves against inducing voters with money and liquor and against fielding criminal and corrupt elements as candidates, and follow policies that treat people with respect and not as beggars.

JP said that the party would be releasing its first list of contestants for 30 seats on December 20 and for the remaining seats subsequently in batches.

Referring to the widespread revulsion against politics in the wake of the terrorist attack on Mumbai, JP said there was no point in running away from politics because politics alone shaped the country's future.

"If people of ill-gotten wealth or sons and daughters of politicians or criminals happened to rule the country it was because the people had voted for them. You reap as you sow. A solution to the present malaise lies in the best and the brightest plunging into politics," he said.

The Lok Satta Party, would provide give tickets to the brightest to contest the polls and would not look into caste or the pedigree or affluence of the applicant. Leadership qualities and credibility will be the only criteria, he added.

JP pointed out that traditional parties in Andhra Pradesh today would not field even a Barack Obama as their candidate because he does not have his own money of Rs 5 crore being demanded by the parties to splurge on vote buying and liquor distribution.

Money power and caste loyalties do have a sway over one-third of voters but the vast majority of voters are on the look-out for clean and competent candidates. Traditional political parties as also the media are perpetuating the dangerous and absurd myth that nobody can win an election without spending Rs 5 crore and polarising voters on caste lines.

However, most people are disgusted with traditional politics, and are seeking a clean break from the past, he added.

Courtesy: Times Of India

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