To be or not to be part of an electoral alliance with any party?
That is the question the Lok Satta Party is to wrestle with at a two-day brain-storming session of its State Working Committee.
The Lok Satta Party, which came into existence on October 2, 2006 pledging to usher in new politics that revolve round people and not leaders, believes that people all over the country are thirsting for change. For more than five decades, they have been regularly going to the polling booth and casting their vote and electing one party or the other to power. Although people have been changing the players every five years, there has been no transformation in their lives by and large.
It is because politicians of traditional parties have turned politics, once a noble profession, into a money-making machine. They invest crores of rupees to get elected so that they can earn many times more than their investment in umpteen ways ranging from award of contracts to transfer and posting of officials. In their bid to get elected, traditional party politicians perpetuate dynastic tendencies, use money and muscle power, ensure free flow of liquor, exploit caste and religion and offer sops and freebies.
The Lok Satta Party came into existence at a time the people are steeped in despair and despondency over their inability to change the state of affairs. The Lok Satta tells the people there is no reason why they should feel helpless since they have the most powerful weapon of vote in their hands to change their destiny. Utilize the next election to write a new chapter in your lives, says the Lok Satta.
Against such a backdrop, the Lok Satta is grappling with the question of electoral alliances. It cannot align itself with either the ruling Congress or the Opposition Telugu Desam, which epitomize rotten politics in the country. The new party Praja Rajyam floated by movie star Chiranjeevi, to all intents and purposes, is following in the footsteps of traditional parties ranging from the admission of questionable elements into the party to the use of money power for demonstrating its support base.
The Lok Satta Party has made it plain repeatedly that it alone cannot transform politics and it is prepared to join hands with like-minded forces. It is ready to enter into an alliance with any party which pledges not to use money and liquor to induce voters, not to field criminals and the corrupt in elections and not turn people into mendicants.
The Lok Satta Party will evaluate the situation prevailing in the State and arrive at a decision in the next two days.
The party will also be focusing its attention on conducting organizational elections from the mandal to the State level by secret ballot and set an example to other parties on the virtues of internal democracy.