Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Politics of Competitive disruption Must end: Dr. JP

“Governance in Andhra Pradesh has slackened in many fields and remains paralyzed in some”, the Lok Satta said today, and added that “if the situation continues like this for some more time it amounts to a Constitutional breakdown.”

Talking to the media, party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said that any Government has to maintain law and order and public security, ensure that development takes place and life goes on an even keel. But in Andhra Pradesh today, the Cabinet has virtually ceased to function and the administration remains paralyzed. The politics of competitive disruption indulged in by most parties in all the regions of the State has done irreparable damage to the interests of all people.

Bandhs, rasta rokos and rail rokos have disrupted marketing activities to the detriment of both consumers and producers. Daily wage earners, vegetable vendors and hawkers have not been able to eke out their precarious livelihood. Indulging in forms of agitation that hurt the ordinary citizen to draw the Government of India’s attention to their respective points of view is nothing but cutting the nose to spite the face.

Dr. JP said that the vast majority of people who would like to lead peaceful harmonious lives have become victims in the parties’ political games. The media and civil society should shed their silence and speak up for the ordinary citizen.

Dr. JP also took exception to threats being hurled against each other by agitators in all the regions. Coercion and violence have no place in a democracy. People should speak to each other and not scream and shout at each other. Rabble rousing should give way to reasoned discourse.

Dr. JP appealed to all parties to help restore peace and normalcy and facilitate a dialogue on the political crisis in the State.

Dr. JP pointed out that licentiousness had characterized the month-long agitation in all regions of the State. Now that the Government of India had initiated the consultation process, all parties and other organizations including the media should desist immediately from promoting hatred and fueling tensions.

He quoted French writer and philosopher Voltaire who said, “I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it” to underline that political parties should try to understand each other’s point of view instead of fulminating at each other.

Welcoming the consultation process initiated by the Union Government, Dr. JP said that every one should realize that even Home Minister Chidamabaram is no magician to produce a rabbit out of a hat. Since the demands for carving out a separate Telangana State and keeping the State united could not be simultaneously conceded, a settlement should be arrived at through reasoned discourse.

Dr. JP suggested that the present crisis in Andhra Pradesh should be utilized by the Government of India and national parties to strengthen the third tier of government with devolution of powers and resources on district and local governments. That is the only way in which people’s aspirations can be fulfilled, the country’s unity preserved and good governance ensured. In such a setup, the Government of India and the local Governments will be handling 40 percent of resources each and States, the remainder of 20 percent.

Dr. JP said that the disciplinary committee of the party would go into the behavior of certain party leaders who sought to create trouble at the party headquarters. The party’s constitution clearly spells out that it does not encourage any distinctions based on region and religion and caste and language. Mr. G. Raja Reddy, General Secretary, said that the TRS had no right to demand Dr. JP’s resignation from the legislature. Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao said there was no truth in reports in certain sections of the media that the party denied its meeting hall to certain party workers. Prior clearance had not been taken for the meeting. Yet, the party allowed the meeting to take place.

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