Press Releases Archive

Lok Satta movement to work for political change

The Lok Satta movement will be enlightening the people on the need for changing the nature of politics during its second phase.

Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, the founder of the Lok Satta movement, and now President of the Lok Satta Party recalled that the NGO accomplished a number of reforms ranging from voter registration at post offices to disclosure of poll contestants’ criminal antecedents and from the Right to Information Act to the Gram Nayalaya Act. “But people’s living conditions cannot be improved unless politics is rid of corruption.” The Lok Satta movement, as part of its second phase, would be focusing on educating the public on the need for new politics and good governance.

Dr. JP was addressing a meeting on the occasion of election of new office-bearers of the Lok Satta movement. Mr. DVVS Varma, Vice President of the Lok Satta Party, said the Lok Satta movement was in the forefront of many democratic movements during the last ten years.

Mr. P. L. Narasimha Rao was elected Coordinator and Mr. Bandaru Rammohan Rao, General Secretary, of the movement. Ms Vijayalakshmi Baksh, Mr. T. Rajamouli, Mr. C. Yellaiah, Mr. Somasekhar and Mr. Meeneswara Rao were elected Secretaries.

Saturday, February 14, 2009 - 16:53

Railway investments in infrastructure Inadequate: Dr. JP

Railway investments in infrastructure have not been growing in tune with the growth in the economy, said Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan here today. As a result 80% of the freight is being moved by roads and only 20% by rail. Road traffic is expensive, pollutes the environment and results in innumerable accidents and heavy damage to roads.

Commenting on the railway budget, Dr. JP said that successive Governments have added only some 10,000 km of railway track since the country attained Independence. There is no reason why all of the districts barring the hilly ones cannot have a railway line. The track maintenance is so poor that the so-called super fast trains run at an average speed of 70 km an hour against 120-150 km in the developed world. The railways have not been able to meet the demand for train services by increasing the frequency because electronic signaling has not been introduced in most of the country. While in advanced countries one can travel across countries by walking into a railway station any time, here in India one has to book a ticket three months in advance or pay through the nose under the tatkal scheme to get a berth on a long-distance train. Nowhere in the developed world toilet waste from running train toilets is discharged on railway tracks. And the railways have failed to develop services in tune with the demand in metropolitan cities like Mumbai.

Dr. JP said members of Parliament should concern themselves with ensuring that trains are run fast and not slow them down by demanding a halt or a station in their constituencies. By developing effective linkages between bus and rail services, trains can be speeded up. Bus services should be encouraged to cover short distances and trains, long distances.

Dr. JP welcomed the introduction of some new trains and the proposal to introduce bullet trains. But the railways should introspect and ensure that its investments in infrastructure take the economy forward as railways are the economy’s lifeline. “Let not the railways miss the wood for trees”, he added. The improvement in the balance sheet of railways and the surplus of Rs. 25,000 crore in fiscal 2008 is welcome. But we need to take a long-term view and build the Indian Railways as an effective life line of our economy symbol of national integration.

Friday, February 13, 2009 - 18:10

Committee on Telangana an Eye-wash: Lok Satta

The Chief Minister’s statement in the Assembly on constituting a committee on Telangana is aimed at reaping electoral advantage and not at respecting people’s sentiments, said the Lok Satta Party here today.

The Congress, which had contested the 2004 elections on the Telangana plank in alliance with the TRS, is now forced to go it alone because it did not bother to fulfill its promises on Telangana. Unable to answer the people in Telangana, the party is seeking a face-saver, party Vice President J. Irama Murthy and Secretary K. Gita Murthy told the media.

The Lok Satta accused the Chief Minister of deceiving people of all regions by recalling he had talked about objections to the formation of a separate Telangana from minorities and people of other regions and indicated to them that the division of the State was not on the cards. What was the point in appointing yet another committee since a committee headed by Union Minister Pranab Mukherjee is already seized of the issue, they asked.

The Lok Satta said that all the traditional parties are playing with Telangana people’s sentiments for electoral gains and said the change in the Telugu Desam Party’s support to Telangana too is not aimed at honoring their sentiments. Taking the people for a ride in the name of Telangana is not pardonable, although the issue whether a separate State will transform people’s lives in Telangana is debatable.

Far from evaluating the Government’s performance over the last five years in the last session of the legislature, the parties had wasted precious time wrangling and unveiled the shape of things to come if they were re-elected.

Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 16:56

Lok Satta against ban on live coverage Of Assembly proceedings

The Lok Satta today opposed the move to put an end to the live TV coverage of Assembly proceedings taking the incidents in the Assembly on Wednesday as a pretext.

Briefing the media, Lok Satta Party Vice President Iramamurthy and Secretary J. Geeta Murthy said that notwithstanding the abuse of the proceedings to promote partisan political interests by different parties, live coverage would help people evaluate their representatives’ performance.

The Lok Satta pointed out that the issues surrounding Sakshi daily of Chief Minister’s son Jaganmohan Reddy and Heritage belonging to Opposition leader Chandrababu Naidu’s family could have been deliberated upon without wasting time over mutual recriminations. The House seems to have suspended all members of the Opposition indiscriminately, including several who did not disrupt the proceedings. Such a cavalier and partisan approach would only undermine faith in democracy. The party faulted the suspended leaders rebelling against marshals and some ordinary police acting as marshals.

If the political parties and their leaders were serious and sincere about fighting corruption, they should get a special court constituted to go into charges of illegal acquisition of properties by the Chief Minister and the leader of the Opposition.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 17:04