Thursday, January 20, 2011

AP in deep economic crisis: Dr. JP

Andhra Pradesh has plunged into a deep economic crisis with the rate of growth now slumping to three to four percent from the much touted 10 to 11 percent, said Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today.

Addressing members of the party’s State Working Committee and district unit presidents and secretaries, Dr. JP said that the economic slump was the culmination of policies pursued by successive governments over the years.

The future of the youth in Andhra Pradesh is becoming bleaker and bleaker by the day, he said and referred to the strides Gujarat is making. ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ convened by Chief Minister Narendra Modi attracted investment proposals running into USD 300-400 billion, with a potential to create five million jobs.

Andhra Pradesh’s growth rate is the lowest among all large States in the country. It will touch the nadir if the Union Government does not take an early decision on the demands for and against bifurcation of the State, he warned.

The Srikrishna Committee comprising experts has given its findings on claims and counter-claims on the backwardness of and discrimination against certain regions of the State. The Union Government has to take a decision that safeguards the interests of all regions of the State and the nation. If all the concerned adopt a policy of reconciliation and give and take in true democratic spirit, a solution is possible, he added.

Referring to the verdict of the Krishna Water Dispute tribunal, Dr. JP said it could not be questioned in the Supreme Court. The State could, however, seek certain clarifications and guarantees even as the verdict is implemented. The State could ask the tribunal to assess the water in the Krishna based on 75 percent dependability and allocate it to different States even as it sticks to its allocation of waters surplus to that estimate. The State should ask the Union Government to constitute a powerful and autonomous Krishna Water Control Authority to ensure that no injustice is caused to the lower riparian State of Andhra Pradesh. The State Government should seek a categorical assurance from the tribunal that Andhra Pradesh need not share the Godavari water it diverts to the Krishna basin at its own cost with other States. With the tribunal allocating all the Krishna surplus water among the riparian States, the other States should have no objection to such diversion. The State Government should view the diversion of the Godavari water to the Krishna basin as a life and death issue for farming in the delta. Once the Godavari water and projects downstream of Nagarjunasagar take care of the requirements of the Krishna delta, the Nagarjunasagar waters should be utilized to irrigate areas in Khammam and Nalgonda districts in Telangana, and Prakasam, Guntur and Nellore districts in Coastal Andhra. The waters in the Srisailam reservoir could be utilized for irrigating parched lands in Rayalaseema.

On the 2 G spectrum scam, Dr. JP said the Lok Satta had taken the lead in filing the writ petition seeking cancellation of allocations and added he was confident of the court conceding its plea.

He also disclosed that the three greatest living jurists of India – Justice Krishna Iyer, Chief Justice M. N. Venkatachalaiah and Chief Justice J. S. Verma – had agreed, at the instance of the Lok Satta, to propose constitution of a National Judicial Commission to the Union Government. The commission will be in charge of appointment and removal of the judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, in the context of the higher judiciary coming under a cloud in the recent past. The nation is facing the danger of descending into anarchy because of lack of direction and legitimacy of the political class. We have to enhance the credibility and moral authority of the Supreme Court so that it in turns helps preserve the country’s unity, Dr. JP said.

Dr. JP called upon party leaders to be prepared for a long-drawn movement transcending parties on behalf of farmers. Despite concerted efforts, the Lok Satta and other parties have failed to persuade the State and Union Governments on conversion of damaged paddy into boiled rice for export purposes.

Maintaining that the Lok Satta Party enjoyed tremendous credibility because of its principled and consistent policies and indomitable courage, he conceded it did not translate into organizational strength. He wanted party leaders to take up causes concerning farmers and youth and economic growth in general by transcending political differences.

Party Working President D. V. V. S. Varma shared the dais with Dr. JP.

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