Press Releases Archive

Change of Rules of the Game Needed – Not Merely Players: Dr. JP

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.

Saturday, January 10, 2009 - 22:43

Lok Satta Announces Election Results (Other than State President)

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

Chittoor: Malyadri

Kurnool: R. Narasimhulu

Kadapa: Venugopal

Guntur: Umamaheswar Reddy

Friday, January 9, 2009 - 18:36

Lok Satta tells Chiru: Say 'no liquor for votes'

Welcoming Praja Rajyam President Chiranjeevi's declaration that his party would ban unauthorized liquor shops (belt shops) if elected to power, the Lok Satta Party today asked him to go one step further and pledge against inducing voters with liquor.

Party spokesman Katari Srinivasa Rao and Working Committee member N. Ravinder asked Mr. Chiranjeevi to recognize that belt shops had proliferated because the Government viewed liquor as an important source of revenue.

Talking to the media, the Lok Satta leaders said the Praja Rajyam Party should, therefore, focus on changes in the liquor policy as well. They recalled the Lok Satta Party had for the last 18 months been agitating against the liquor menace, which is next only to corruption in playing havoc with people's lives.

Thursday, January 8, 2009 - 14:42

Dr. JP demands a thorough probe into Satyam fraud

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today demanded a thorough investigation by all regulatory agencies into the monumental accounting fraud in Satyam Computers and stringent punishment of all the guilty.

In a statement, Dr. JP pointed out that the colossal failure of the internationally reputed auditing firm PwC in the Satyam case reminded one of the role of Arthur Andersen in the Enron case and undermined people’s faith in corporate governance.

"It is possible that other corporate bodies too may have been resorting to accounting jugglery. It is high time that the Government and regulatory agencies thoroughly reviewed the accounting practices of all big corporate entities in the next few weeks and plugged all loopholes. An exercise on a war-footing is necessary to restore public confidence in Indian corporate governance both nationally and globally."

Dr. JP said that people, who forgot that real wealth creation lay in the production of goods and services fomented speculative bubbles in sectors like the stock market and the real estate. In the process, innocent people lost their all in chasing the mirages created by manipulators.

Dr. JP said that the quest for prominence and fear of losing power or position or influence made people resort to unethical practices and commit monumental blunders both in the corporate world and pubic life in general. A big corporate firm like Satyam had sought to maintain the illusion of profits instead of accepting and confronting the realities honestly. "It is a classic case of hubris and tragedy that overtakes when appearances become more important than realities."

Dr. JP said: "The one message that comes out loud and clear from the Satyam episode is that there is no point in shutting our eyes to realities. Despite the universal knowledge that corruption and malpractices have become integral to our public life we are feigning surprise each time something surfaces and after appropriate initial shock and horror, we forget about them. The real sufferers of our refusal or unwillingness to take note of the decay at the core are the poor and the marginal sections. We have to take stock of our failings collectively, acknowledge them honestly and address them swiftly and decisively."

Thursday, January 8, 2009 - 12:48

Lok Satta Welcomes Urban Health Mission

The Lok Satta Party today welcomed the Government of India decision to introduce the National Urban Health Mission on the lines of the National Rural Health Mission, although belatedly. Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, as a member of the National Advisory Council, had played a pivotal role in conceiving and drafting the scheme.

Lok Satta Party spokesman Katari Srinivasa Rao and Working Committee member Laxman Balaji told the media that nearly 80 percent of migrants to urban areas led miserable lives and as a result fell prey to ill health. About 3.7 percent of people slipped into poverty every year as they incurred debt at to meet medical expenses. About 60 percent of urban children went without immunization in their first year. Youngsters remained weaklings. The proliferation of slums contributed to the outbreak of diseases affecting everybody. The introduction of the NUHM is, therefore, welcome against such a backdrop, the Lok Satta leaders remarked.

The Lok Satta leaders wanted the Government to focus on prevention of disease and provision of primary care. Formation of ward committees with resources and powers to implement and oversee all schemes concerning health care and sanitation would go a long way in curbing corruption and faster delivery of health services.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009 - 22:01

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