Monday, November 29, 2010

Power struggle in Congress Punishing people: Lok Satta

The power struggle within the Congress is aggravating people’s miseries in Andhra Pradesh, commented the Lok Satta Party here today.

Talking to the media, Lok Satta Party leaders V. Laxman Balaji, P. Bhaskara Rao and Ravi Maruth pointed out that a paralyzed administration had failed to address the two burning problems – the agrarian crisis and widespread corruption.

The Lok Satta leaders at the outset pointed out that the resignation of Mr. Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy and his mother Mrs. Vijayalakshmi from the Congress, and the Lok Sabha and the Assembly respectively, is an internal matter of their party on the surface. The 14-month-old power struggle within the ruling party, however, has been playing havoc with people’s lives.

They referred to reports of small and marginal farmers burning away the paddy crop ripe for harvest, unable to pay daily wages ranging from Rs.300 to Rs.400 to agricultural laborers. The Government had abdicated its responsibility of ensuring fair and remunerative prices for paddy. It remained a silent spectator as rice millers exploited the hapless farmers. It has not bothered to announce the State advisory price for sugarcane even on the eve of the harvest whereas the U. P. Government fixed it as Rs.250 a quintal.

They reiterated the party stand that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme be extended to cover agriculture so that farmers did not face shortage of labor even as workers found gainful employment.

The Lok Satta Party leaders said that corruption had become rampant as a weak Government would not initiate any measures to combat it. They referred to the Supreme Court observation that something is rotten in the Allahabad High Court and said the same could be said of every sphere in Andhra Pradesh.

They disclosed that Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan would be leaving for New Delhi on a three-day visit to discuss the agrarian crisis with the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council Chairman Dr. C. Rangarajan, Chief Economic Advisor to Government of India Kaushik Basu, and Planning Commission members. He will discuss electoral reforms as one of the means to combat corruption with members of the Election Commission of India. The Lok Satta has already taken some initiatives for the formation of a National Judicial Commission to pre-empt and punish corruption in the judiciary.

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