Press Releases Archive

Let us break our silence and transform India: Dr. JP

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today called upon people to rededicate themselves to building a people-centered political system, the real objective behind forming a republic, by uprooting dynastic and monarchic rule. “Although the Constitution begins with the words ‘We the people of India,’ the real people enjoyed no powers as a few individuals or coteries monopolized all powers. As a result, the future of any child depended on the caste or the family in which it is born.

Addressing a meeting after unveiling the national flag at the party headquarters, Dr. JP said that the architects of Indian Independence unified India geographically for the first time in 5,000 years by integrating 500 princely States into the Indian Union in 250 days. But afraid of Hindu-Muslim rivalries and other narrow loyalties sapping the country’s unity, they sculpted India as a unitary and centralized State. Had they displayed a little more vision and patience, and formed India as a federation and empowered people by opting for strong local governments, India would have witnessed a thousand flowers in the shape of leaders blooming.

Dr. JP warned that the history that prevailed during the partition of the country would repeat itself if the people are not entrusted with powers to carve out their destiny. The Lok Satta, which has been striving for the last 12 years to empower people, would not rest until it achieves it goal undeterred by obstacles in the way. By conducting organizational elections through secret ballot, ensuring proportional representation to various sections in the party organization and forming district governments, the party has made some progress in accomplishing its goals.

“But history cannot be changed overnight. The road is long and arduous, more so for a party like the Lok Satta in the prevailing complex political situation. We should be prepared for a long-term struggle to build a society, which does not discriminate any child on the basis of its birth in a particular caste or religion or family and allow it to realize its true potential.”

“ A silent majority of voters- particularly the Youth, middle class, the women who are paying a heavy price in an unequal society, and the poor who are deprived of dignity and opportunity are seething with anger. Our republic has been stolen. Lok Satta has a historic role in mobilizing them and make the constitutional values real and tangible. The coming elections provide us a wonderful opportunity to lay the foundation of new politics for a new generation of Indians. All of India is ready for transformation. Andhra Pradesh will pave the way in 2009 for building a new India in which every child will fulfil her potential, no one will suffer from preventable causes, and all people enjoy dignity, opportunity and justice.”

Dr. JP appealed all citizens stand united, break their silence, and fight against injustice, brutality, corruption, poverty, prejudice and narrow divisions undermining our nationhood.

Monday, January 26, 2009 - 12:37

Continue 'Yuva Tarang': Yuva Satta

The Yuva Satta today appealed to the Chief Election Commissioner not to discontinue the ‘yuva tarang’ program meant to enroll college students as voters.

The President of the State Yuva Satta, Mr. Dasari Ratnam, and the President of the Greater Hyderabad unit, Mr. Ravinder Reddy told the media that the response to the enrolment campaign undertaken by some voluntary agencies in colleges was very good, according to the feedback they received. “On the spot issuance of voters’ identity cards based on principals’ attestation is highly commendable.”

The Yuva Satta leaders pointed out that if the youth were to take part in elections and strengthen democracy, such innovative enrolment programs are highly desirable. Of late, the youth are shedding their revulsion against politics in a bid to contribute their mite in changing the present political system.

They appealed to the CEO to publicize the continuous voter enrolment program since many people are not aware of it. All those who register themselves as voters until the completion of the nomination process should be enabled to exercise their franchise.

Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 17:09

District governments a panacea to Regional disparities: Dr. JP

Formation of district governments will be a potent antidote to regional disparities and animosities, declared Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan here today.

Just as the Congress Party declared ‘purna swaraj’ on January 26, 1930, the Lok Satta today declared the formation of district governments all over the State and pledged itself not to rest until the goal is realized. Today happens to be the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhashchandra Bose, who had served as Calcutta Commissioner – the first to be chosen from among citizens -- and as an elected Mayor.

Addressing a meeting held at Kukatpally to mark the Ranga Reddy district government formation and declaration, Dr. JP said entrusting the administration of a district to an official like the collector is nothing but a travesty of democracy because many districts in Andhra Pradesh are bigger than half the countries in the world. Mr. BPR Vithal, Prof. K. Nageswar, Mr. Solitipeta Ramachandra Reddy, Mr. Uppala Gopala Rao, Ms. Maligireddy Sudha and Party leaders Mr. DVVS Varma, C. Narasimha Rao, B. Rammohana Rao, B. Krishna Reddy, Srinivasan, N. Ravinder also participated in the function.

Dr. JP recalled that the 73rd and 74th amendments were enacted to strengthen the third tier of government in the belief that citizens’ affairs should be handled from a local government closest to them. Matters calling for economies of scale and managerial expertise are to be left to be handled by State and Central governments.

“Unfortunately we have inverted the logic behind this philosophy and turned local governments impotent and State and Central governments all powerful. Once people have no control over their destiny, the link between their vote and public good snaps and the vote becomes a purchasable commodity.

“The system resulted in a centralized bureaucracy which remains unresponsive and unaccountable, and lead to collapse of public services, neglect of vital sectors like education, health, agricultural extension and social welfare, and accentuation of regional disparities and animosities. A solution lies in unveiling fully empowered and adequately funded elected local governments driven by purposive and competent leaders.”

The Lok Satta President said the concept of district governments comprises five elements.

  • A directly elected premier for a district with full and effective control over bureaucracy
  • Adequate devolution of resources and powers to legislate, regulate and execute in all matters under their charge. District governments will have jurisdiction over all other local governments both in rural and urban areas. The primary tier of government – the panchayat/municipality – will be entrusted with the provision of all basic services and amenities. Panchayat will have direct power and responsibility to provide quality drinking water, eradicate public defecation and eliminate belt shops and illicit distillation.
  • Apart from normal funding, wards and divisions in panchayats and municipalities will get a per capita grant of Rs.1000 to address local needs (A village with a population of say 5,000 will get an annual grant of Rs.50 lakh). People will be guaranteed safe drinking water, a toilet for every household, all-weather roads and public transport, and 24-hour quality power supply in every village.
  • There will be decentralization and convergence of all services and agencies. Local mobile courts in each mandal, access to land records and birth certificates in each panchayats, voter registration through post offices, integration of revenue and development functions, farmers’ control of local markets, agri-clinics in each village – all these and other measures will be integral to district governments.
  • 1000 small towns will be built at a cost of Rs 40,000 crores to provide urban amenities close to village, and create employment to 50 lakh youth.

The districts are cabinets being formed in each district with experts and prominent citizens and activities in each district. These district cabinets would function as shadow cabinets and promote public awareness, study local problems, identify solutions and work with local public agencies to implement them.

Friday, January 23, 2009 - 20:39