Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lok Satta rebuts malicious campaign

Parties that blame the Lok Satta for their poor performance in the 2009 elections had better advocate single-party democracy as in China and the erstwhile Soviet Union, the Lok Satta said today in a sharp rejoinder.

A number of leaders in both the TDP and the BJP had been griping and wailing over the Lok Satta “hijacking their’ votes and contributing to their dismal show, according to media reports.

Talking to the media, Lok Satta Party spokesmen V. Vijayender Reddy and E. Chennayya said that far from being chastened by the electoral debacle and mending their ways, some of the traditional parties seemed to regard the electoral arena as their sole preserve. “They conveniently forget that in a democracy, every one has a right to form a party and seek voters’ blessings. The beauty of democracy lies in the fact that no party has a monopoly over any section of voters. A mature political party in a democracy should humbly accept the people’s verdict instead of trying to find scapegoats in other parties or blame the voters themselves. Perhaps they believe in single-party democracy.”

Referring to the allegation that the Lok Satta seemed to have a secret understanding with the Congress since it did not field candidates against the Chief Minister and his son in the Pulivendula Assembly and Kadapa Lok Sabha seats respectively, the Lok Satta leaders dubbed it as not only baseless but also malicious. The party did field Mr. Gudipati Prasanna Kumar to contest against the Chief Minister’s son in the Kadapa Lok Sabha seat. Despite its best efforts, the party could not find candidates in 45 Assembly and 10 Lok Sabha seats. Pulivendula and Kuppam happened to be among Assembly seats where the party could not locate suitable candidates. The party allocated the Kuppam seat to the Backward Classes United Front which had come forward to field a candidate.

“People’s welfare is the sole touchstone for our stand on any issue, and not partisan considerations,” underlined the spokesmen in the context of the Government moves to supply mineral water to every habitation and promote cooperative or collective farming.

The Lok Satta Party was the only party, which included supply of safe drinking water in all problematic areas as one of its 50 “irrevocable guarantees.” “We are glad the ruling party has taken a leaf out of our manifesto. But unfortunately, its copying is not smart.” The Lok Satta had promised water supply through installation of reverse osmosis plants in areas where the water is not potable either because of excessive fluoride or salinity or pollution by industrial effluents. The Lok Satta scheme to devolve a per capita grant of Rs.1000 to every panchayat/ward/division will enable the local body to go in for such plants and provide even livelihood to plant operators.

The Lok Satta is unequivocal in its operation to cooperative or collective farming as conceived by the State Government because productivity and production are not scale-dependent. Many countries including Russia and China were forced to beat a retreat from collective farming as their experience was disastrous. In contrast, the productivity in a small land holding is higher because of the care bestowed by the small farmer. Productivity in the Indian context has to do more with accessibility to and affordability of technology and not fragmented holdings. Cooperative farming can perhaps be experimented in saline areas and rain shadow areas.

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