Press Releases Archive
The question is not one of winning or losing a few seats in the coming elections; it is about changing the very trajectory of Indian politics and creating history, Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said here today.
Addressing a meeting of the party’s State Working Committee and the newly elected district presidents, Dr. JP said that the Lok Satta which is the only force pursuing moral politics cannot jettison its principles and enter into unholy alliances for short-term electoral gains.
Dr. JP graphically depicted how all the traditional parties are getting ready to spend unprecedented amounts of money to get elected somehow or the other in the coming general elections in Andhra Pradesh. The shape of things to come could be visualized from the fortunes spent in the recent ZPTC and MPTC by-elections in Andhra Pradesh and general elections in Karnataka..
Dr. JP said that the Andhra Pradesh Government is expected to spend a total of Rs.600,000 crore in the next five years . If we assume that three crore of people will exercise their franchise, the amount the Government plans to spend works out to Rs.200,000 per voter over five years. This Rs.200,000 is the value of each vote cast in Andhra Pradesh. It is to lord over the amount and siphon it that the political parties are leaving no stone unturned to get into office by hook or crook.
The Lok Satta cannot, therefore, blur the greater picture of the stakes involved and enter into opportunistic electoral alliances. The Lok Satta is not opposed to alliances per se but an alliance without agreement on certain fundamental issues like putting an end to the use of money and liquor to induce voters and the practice of fielding criminal elements as candidates will not serve the national cause.
The colossal fraud in Satyam Computers has become the talk of the town all over the country. But unfortunately people have not focused their attention on the bigger fraud political parties are committing by raising and spending colossal amounts of black money to fight elections. The Lok Satta is, therefore, concerned about fighting such political culture. Unless other parties are prepared to join hands in the historic fight against such corruption-ridden politics, the Lok Satta cannot countenance an alliance.
“History will judge us not merely by short-term gains, but by the change in the nature of politics we bring about in India. The political failure of established parties will lead to disaster for the nation. Unless the second freedom struggle is won by the people,p there is a danger of anarchy and disintegration thanks to the ‘me-first’, ‘after-me-the-deluge’ and ‘get-rich-quick’ politics practiced today.
The Lok Satta, he said, has become the lone torch-bearer of new politics in the country. Some of the prominent people of Mumbai are ready to fight on behalf of the party in the coming elections. The fight is not confined to Andhra Pradesh.
The Working Committee constituted a committee to constantly review the developing political situation and take appropriate decisions.
Dr. JP announced that the Lok Satta will be declaring ‘district governments’ at public meetings in all the 23 district headquarters of the State on January 23, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose.
On that day, district Cabinets comprising prominent citizens who are knowledgeable and experienced in different walks of life will be announced, the district flag unfurled, a booklet on district governments released and a film on district Governments screened.
The just democratically elected Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan was flooded with calls when he conducted a 14-hour non-stop phone-in program from the party headquarters here on Sunday.
The callers from all over Andhra Pradesh and a few from Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru and the U. S. and the U. K. congratulated the Lok Satta on its efforts to transform political culture and pledged their support.
The callers wanted the Lok Satta to think twice before entering into an alliance with any political party. They suggested that it should not enter into an alliance for the sake of winning a few seats. Policy-based, limited alliances could, however, be considered.
More than 1200 people had dialed the Lok Satta headquarters to speak to Dr. JP. He responded patiently to 300 people, explaining the party’s policies and welcoming their suggestions.
The State Working Committee of the Lok Satta would be meeting tomorrow to discuss the party’s program to unveil district governments on January 23. The meeting, to be attended by the newly elected district presidents also, would evaluate the latest political situation in the State and the prospects of the party fielding its candidates in the general elections in Maharashtra.
Politics of India can be transformed only by changing the rules of the game, not merely change of rules, declared Lok Satta Party’s just reelected President Dr Jayaprakash Narayan. The Party organized internal elections recently to set an example to the political system, and to promote real transformation in India.
(Dr. JP polled 85,612 votes against 10,145 by Mr. DVVS Varma and 4,650 by Mrs. Akula Maharani, his rivals in the presidential race).
Addressing a media conference, Dr. JP said the Lok Satta Party has always been humble enough to recognize that it alone cannot usher in new politics or accomplish its goal overnight. There are millions of people who are fed up with the corruption-ridden politics pursued by traditional parties and are thirsting for change. The Lok Satta Party has provided an alternative platform so that all right thinking people can join hands and accomplish transformational change.
“Against such a backdrop, the Lok Satta is not averse to entering into electoral alliances with parties and forces, which are prepared to embrace certain non-negotiable fundamentals. They have to pledge themselves against inducing voters with money and liquor and fielding candidates with criminal background. They should agree to treat citizens with dignity and respect and not as beggars. An agreed common agenda based on education, healthcare, skills for youth and job promotion, rejuvenation of agriculture and traditional occupations, social security to one crore poor families to give dignity to the unorganized workers, district governments, rural infrastructure, citizen empowerment and uncompromising fight against corruption should form the bedrock of any principled political alliance.
“Nobility cannot be restored to politics unless parties view it as a means to serve the public and not to enrich themselves at public cost. Unfortunately, politics has been turned into a family-owned business and the expenditure in elections is viewed as an investment for raking in many times the investment. Transformation cannot be brought about through mere rhetoric. The parties that claim to work for change should practice it in the way they run their parties and field candidates in elections.”
Dr. JP said the Lok Satta has set an example to other parties by holding its elections for leadership from the mandal to the State level through secret ballot. It demonstrated that there is no place for coterie or dynasty rule or the play of money and muscle power in the party. Notwithstanding certain imperfections, the Lok Satta has made a new beginning in organizational elections. It is already reputed for the transparent manner it raises and spends funds.
The Lok Satta is happy that it has been able to transform public discourse through its relentless focus on provision of quality education and healthcare and equal opportunities for growth to all irrespective of their caste and religion. For once even traditional political parties are chanting the new mantra. The Lok Satta is proud that the Election Commission has at long last conceded its decade-old demand for making post office the nodal agency for registration. Its efforts for constitution of village courts to provide speedy justice have fructified with Parliament adopting the Bill. Lok Satta has thus achieved two critical milestones in 2008.
Dr. JP indicated that the Lok Satta would be focusing its attention on the urban educated middle classes who the world over have served as trail blazers of change. In Mumbai, there is a movement to put up credible citizens’ candidates on Lok Satta’s platform in order to give people a genuine opportunity to change the nature of politics, and create new politics for the new generation. As India’s largest city, the nation’s financial capital, and the seat of freedom struggle, Mumbai has a critical role to play in this struggle for Second Freedom to end kleptocracy and to build one India for one people.
Referring to the monumental fraud in Satyam Computers, Dr. JP said the Government should immediately focus its attention on protecting the interests of 50,000 odd Satyam employees and its innumerable clients spread all over the world. The Government of India ought to have appointed a board of management within 24 hours of the scandal coming to light.
Dr. JP demanded that the State Government appoint a team with members of unimpeachable integrity like former RBI Governor Y. Venugopal Reddy and former Union Secretary Dr EAS. Sarma to enquire into Satyam’s fall out on the state, review the projects, worth around Rs.30,000 crore, awarded to Maytas and recommend the future course of action.
Mr. Nandipeta Ravinder was today declared elected President of the Greater Hyderabad Lok Satta unit with a majority of 1262 votes over his rival. The election took place on January 4 and the counting today.
Mr. V. Ramachandraiah, Chairman, and other members of the Lok Satta Party’s Election Authority declared the results of the internal party elections, which took place between January 4 and 7. It is for the first time that a party’s leaders have been chosen in voting by secret ballot. The result of the election to the post of the State party President will be declared tomorrow, as the counting was still in progress.
The counting of votes in the election to the posts of the State President and the Greater Hyderabad unit took place in the party headquarters.
The following were elected district unit Presidents in the keenly contested elections (with their majority given in brackets:
Srikakulam: K. Poli Naidu (Majority-957)
Vizianagaram: Bhisetty Babji (Majority-793)
Visakhapatnam City: Sivakumar (Majority-902)
East Godavari: Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (Majority-2910)
West Godavari: G. Janaki Ramaraju (Majority-836)
Ananatapur: Srinath (Majority-777)
Nizamabad: Jameel Syber (Majority-8,102)
Warangal: S. Venkata Raju (Majority-1304)
The following were elected district unit Presidents unanimously:
Visakhapatnam Rural: K. V. Suresh Kumar
Kurnool: R. Narasimhulu
Guntur: Umamaheswar Reddy