Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lok Satta candidate, a responsible citizencompliments from old neighbours-

(Hyderabad, 26/05/2008)

Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao, Lok Satta Party candidate to Khairatabad assembly constituency in by-elections is taking his innovative campaign to all corners of the constituency. He is getting thumping response even in Bastis. Lok Satta Party's Free Quality education and health along with local governments is really impressing people. Today Mr. Srinivasa Rao took Padayatra in Borabanda slum areas. He met his old friends in V. Ramaraonagar, where he lived some years ago. Many of the people there remembered him with pride and respect. He is a responsible citizen and very much concerned about the social problems around such as traffic, drinking water, sanitation, literacy, said one old neighbour. Srinivasa Rao is the right person for the right Party, they opined.
"I personally knew the problems in slums. If elected, I will strive to provide the basic amnities to all the Bastis on permanent basis. Let no child should be without quality education and no poor man should suffer due to burden of medical expense. We will bulid a healthy and enlightned society where every citizen can become a part of the governance" Srinivasa Rao said.
Ms. Sujatha, Mrs. Subhashini, Mr. N. Srinivasan, Mr. Prasad, Mr. Jitender, Mr. Narasimha, a large number of Lok Satta Party youth cadre participated in the Padayatra.

Dr. JP condemns violence against daily

Hyderabad, May 26

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan unreservedly condemned the MRPS attack on “Andhra Jyothi” as unwarranted in a democracy.

Dr. JP said in a statement that the freedom of the Press -- an extension of freedom of speech guaranteed under the Constitution -- is inviolable. .

If any one has any grievance against the media, one has many ways to express it. Since the Press or the electronic media did not enjoy a monopoly, the aggrieved party can draw others’ attention to the problem. One can ask the concerned newspaper to make amends to an objectionable report. One can go even to the Press Council of India. If one thinks that one’s reputation is sullied, one can file a case of defamation in a court of law.

However, resort to violence would spell the death knell of democracy and lead to anarchy, Dr. JP said.

Dr. JP appealed to the media to observe restraint and not glorify violence even unwittingly as heroism whatever be the circumstances.

Dr. JP’s innovative solution to reservations issue

Hyderabad, May 24
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today regretted that traditional political parties continued to foment hatred and clashes between castes and divide society on the issue of reservations in jobs and educational institutions without providing a constructive solution.

Dr. JP was commenting on the agitation by Gujjars in Rajasthan seeking Scheduled Tribe status for their community. Gujjars at present are treated as Backward Classes. Meenas, who are Scheduled Tribes now, are opposed to inclusion of Gujjars among their ranks. A commission appointed by the Rajasthan Government when clashes erupted between Gujjars and Meenas last year, had opposed Gujjars’ inclusion in STs.

A similar schism has developed between Malas and Madigas on the issue of reservations.

Dr. JP recalled the Lok Satta Party has proposed an innovative solution to end the problem once and for all. Without disturbing the present reservations for different classes, poor and rural candidates can be given bonus marks of 10 per cent in competitive examinations for admission to educational institutions and jobs. All the children, irrespective of their caste, shall be provided free and quality education in English for 12 years. The Government shall help all the interested and eligible to pursue higher education ranging from medicine to engineering.


(Media release, 22/05/08)
The Lok Satta Party has fielded “Aparichitudu”, a movie character, in flesh and blood to undertake a campaign against political corruption as part of its by-election campaign. Attired in black and sporting flowing hair, he makes the point that by voting for the Lok Satta Party, people can bring about changes in the polity. There is no need for an "Aparichitudu" who in the movie indulges in retribution for corruption, in a democratic setting. The road show of “Aparichitidu”, like the movie, is a resounding success and has become the talk of the town .

Monday, May 19, 2008

Whistle for Change, calls Lok Satta

The Lok Satta Party is deftly utilizing the by-elections to remind voters that they are sovereign and they can change the future of their lives and the country by exercising their franchise.

The party believes that most of the people are fed up with political corruption, inequity and injustice and bad governance. They have changed governments in the past but have not experienced any change in their lives. The players on the political scene have changed but not the political culture. As a result, the people have become cynical. The Lok Satta Party, which is pledged to ushering in a new political culture, calls upon people to use the party as a platform to realize their hopes and aspirations. The party believes that provision of free and quality healthcare and education and job-oriented skills alone will bring about a transformation in people’s lives.

The party has chosen young and highly educated professionals and entrepreneurs as its candidates in all the four constituencies going to polls – Khairatabad, Musheerabad, Secunderabad and Terlam. Party cadres had chosen them by consensus, impressed by their track record of service to society. The party did not look into their pedigree, money power or muscle power or even their caste when it opted for them.

With the election date drawing nearer, all the party candidates are engaged in a door-to-door campaign. Their main focus is on the youth, the middle classes and women all of whom feel let down in the present system and who are thirsting for an alternative.

They call upon voters to exercise their franchise without succumbing to liquor or money. Politicians of traditional parties have been perpetuating their dynasties only with their consent. “If you stop patronizing them, their citadels of power will crumble.”

The Lok Satta Party candidates carry on their campaign without any pomp or show. You don’t find huge party banners or cutouts of leaders or a cavalcade of cars anywhere. Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan undertakes road-shows in support of party candidates. His simple message is: A vote is much more powerful than a gun or a pen. Use it and unveil a new chapter in Indian politics.

The by-elections are not going to result in a change in government or in policies. But they provide an opportunity to the people to demonstrate that they have had enough of traditional parties. The Lok Satta hopes to become their lodestar.(Whistle is the election symbol of Lok Satta Party candidates).

Dr.JP’s poll campaign in Twin Cities

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan is undertaking an intensive tour of the Khairatabad, Musheerabad and Secunderabad constituencies in support of party candidates contesting the Assembly by-elections.

Mr. Bandaru Ram Mohan Rao, Election Co-oridnator, in a statement released the following schedule of Dr. JP:

May 18: Secunderabad
May 19: Musheerabad
May 20: Khairatabad
May 22: Secunderabad
May 23: Khairatabad
May 24: Musheerabad
May 26: Secunderabad
May 27: Secunderabad,Khairatabad,Musheerabad

Lok Satta is Your vehicle, Make use of it.

In Indian mythology many Gods have vehicles to rest on and in the same way, the voter being the God in democracy can rest on the vehicle of Loksatta to achieve his basic needs as a sovereign, said Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, the Lok Satta party President... In his campaign in Secunderabad to promote the party candidate Mr. M.Pradeep Kumar, he toured through Lalapet, Lakshminagar, Shantinagar, Noorpanshop, Masjid areas on Sunday.
The response to Dr. JP's roadshow and Padayatra in some areas was tremendous and very interactive. Especially women received his message with keen attention. In Lakshminagar, women complained about liquor menace in their area. Jayaprakash Narayan explained that Loksatta has taken this issue seriously and has been fighting for the eradication of liquor belt shops. And also Lok Satta was pestering the political parties not to distribute liqour in elections. But no Party is responding our appeal, he regretted. Unless you cleanup the politics, you cannot restrain the liqour menace, he explained the women.
Dr. JP appealed the voters to support a common youth Mr.Pradeep among other traditional competents, as Loksatta is for redefining politics. He asked them to vote for whistle, which is the symbol for Loksatta in the bye-elections.
Party leaders Ravi Martuth, D.Lakshmi, Vinod, Kiran Kumar, Sriman Narayan and volunteers participated in Dr.JP's campaign.

'Seeti Bajao, City Bachao

Lok Satta campaigning vigorously
Lok Satta Party contesting in the Assembly by-polls in Greater Hyderabad, with the hope of bringing about New Political culture is goingon with vigorous campaign. Khairatabad Party candidate Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao was recieved by the people with splendid response in his Padayatras at Miyapur and Chandanagar on Saturday. The campaign slogan 'Blow the whistle, Save the City' (Seeti Bajao, City Bacho), as the Party was given the whistle as their by-election symbol, impressed many people.

"The people are expressing their solidarity in a big way to the ideology of Lok Satta. We are hoping that this by-election will bring a big change in the present political system" said Mr. Srinivasa Rao.

"This year IAS topper Mr. A. Karthik also said that his role politician is Dr.Jayaprakash Narayan, whcih symboliges that the youth are in favour of Lok Satta New Political Order" he added.

Mr. Surendra Srivatsava, Ashok, Meera, Subhashini, Sujata along with other volunteers participated in the Padayatra.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lok Satta Party in the Election Battle 2008. Read the latest issue of Lok Satta Times- May 2008 edition.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Eschew foul public debate, Appeals Dr. JP

Hyderabad, May 6
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said today that there could not be a greater disgrace in the land of Gandhi and Ambedkar than politicians indulging foul language against each other in public debate. He appealed to all parties to exercise restraint and elevate public discourse.

He was commenting on the polemical exchanges between TDP leader Devender Goud and TRS President K. C. Chandrasekhara Rao, and Chief Minister Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy and the TDP President N. Chandrababu Naidu, and other leaders in the recent past.

The Lok Satta always believed that politics is a noble endeavor. Elections provided an opportunity for political parties to mobilize public opinion in favor of their policies and ideas. But when politics degenerates into private business and political parties are driven by their unbridled lust for power without any agenda, they indulge in personal rivalry, disgraceful public debate and cheap diatribes unbecoming of people aspiring to be or pretending to be leaders. If public functionaries cannot become role models, they have no place in public life, Dr. JP said.

Dr. JP regretted that traditional parties and politicians seemed to believe that they could not survive without the crutches of power or the nuisance value it confers on them. Although politics is important it forms only a small part of life. Unfortunately in India, the entire society is revolving round politics and political parties are receiving disproportionate and unwarranted attention.

Dr. JP said: “Our society is facing grave short-term and long-term problems affording an opportunity to find meaningful solutions. But when parties have no agenda, they indulge in rabble-rousing and disruptive behavior. The media and society shall deprive such politics and politicians the oxygen of publicity and attention. The need of the hour is promoting a healthy and vigorous debate on education, health care, equity, employment, justice, rule of law and corruption in politics”.

Off-beat nominations by Lok Satta candidates

Hyderabad, May 5
Lok Satta Party candidates in the by-elections to the Assembly will be filing their nominations without any pomp or ostentation and demonstrate their party is unique.

Accompanied by their followers attired in party T-shirts and sporting paper caps, the candidates will undertake a ‘padayatra’ to the offices where nominations are to be filed. They will carry national flags as well as party flags to drive home the party’s commitment to national interests.

Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao, the party candidate for the Khairatabad seat, and Mr. Rohit Kumar Parasa, the candidate for the Musheerabad seat, will be filing their nominations in the forenoon of Wednesday, May 7. Mr. Maganti Pradeep, the candidate for the Secunderabad seat, will be filing his nomination on May 9.

Dr. JP wants political parties to disclose income and expenditure

Hyderabad, May 1

The Lok Satta Party today welcomed the Central Information Commission’s order that political parties should disclose their income-tax returns on a request filed under the Right to Information Act.

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan recalled in a media statement that his party has set an example to others by placing an audited copy of its income and expenditure on its website, although no law compelled it. It is because of its belief that the people have a right to know how the party raised its resources and spent them.

Dr. JP demanded that all political parties should follow suit in the interests of democracy. Even the Election Commission would like a law to be enacted making it mandatory for political parties to disclose their sources of funding and ways of expenditure.

In a democracy, Dr. JP said, a political party should not become the private property of some without any say for other members. The Lok Satta Party has been built as a party of the people. It chose its office-bearers and candidates to contest elections by taking the opinion of the rank and file by secret ballot. In contrast, most parties have turned dynastic, undermining democracy in the process.

Dr. JP called upon parties to heed CIC opinion that transparency in political parties’ organization, functions and their means of funding is a democratic imperative and is in public interest.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Lok Satta Party's rejoinder to Sakshi's editorial on JP and Lok Satta Party

Please read the Lok Satta Party's rejoinder and clarification to Sakshi's editorial that appeared on 29th April 2008.

Lok Satta Party fields young & educated in Assembly by-elections

The Lok Satta Party is ushering in new political culture by fielding young, educated professionals or entrepreneurs with a clean record and a burning desire to change the politics of the country in the by-elections to the Assembly.

The party is contesting by-elections from Khairatabad, Musheerabad, Secunderabad and Terlam.

Announcing the names of candidates the party is fielding, Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan told a media meet here today that the party is providing a platform to the silent majority to assert itself. The silent majority comprising youth, women and middle classes has been fed up with corrupt and dynastic politics but is feeling helpless in the absence of an alternative platform. The Lok Satta Party is utilizing the elections to present the alternative platform so that the silent majority can unleash a silent revolution.

Dr. JP said the party candidates do not have political Godfathers, money power or muscle power. The party rank and file have chosen them unanimously, impressed by their commitment and dedication to the nation and their impeccable background. In fact, they are people who have excelled in their professions or occupations although they belong to disadvantaged sections. The average age of the contestants is just 31.

The following are the Lok Satta Party candidates:

Khairatabad: Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao. A Master of Computer Applications, 38-year-old Srinivasa Rao has been serving as an Assistant Professor in Chaitanya Bharati Institute of Technology for the last one decade. The Vice-President of the Greater Hyderabad Lok Satta Party, Mr. Srinivasa Rao has had a sterling record in fighting for public causes including the easing of traffic hassles in the Twin Cities.

Secunderabad: Mr. Maganti Pradeep. Founder of Cogent Techsol Private Limted, 25-year-old Pradeep has trained hundreds of young graduates in the skill sets needed by employers and helped them find placement in the last three years in IT and ITES fields. A Bachelor in Business Administration, Mr. Pradeep underwent training in General Management & Entrepreneurship at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

Musheerabad: Mr. Rohit Kumar Parasa. A self-made entrepreneur, 33-year-old Rohit is the founder chief of Spring Soft Solutions and Spring Consulting Services, ‘Spring Soft Rohit;, as he is popularly known, has had the distinction of molding the careers of over 2,500 youth of the Twin Cities by providing career counseling and helping them secure rewarding jobs in the IT sector.

Terlam: Reddi Lakshmu Naidu. Twenty-seven-year-old Lakshmu Naidu, the son of a two-acre dry land owning farmer, did his Bachelor of Education after obtaining M.A. in English. Instead of taking to teaching, he has chosen to devote his life to bringing about transformation in society by working as a full-time Lok Satta Party volunteer. He has had the distinction of enrolling more than 3000 people as Lok Satta Party members.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lok Satta to Expose MLAs’ Evil Empire

The Lok Satta Party is training its guns on the evil empire of MLAS as part of a four-month-long ‘Surajya’ campaign from March 31. The campaign seeks to educate and enlighten people on how ‘Swarajya’ has been distorted into a ‘swaharajya’ and galvanize them into action.

The party will be mobilizing nearly 25000 volunteers in April to spread the movement to every nook and corner of the State.

Lok Satta Party General Secretary D. V. V. S. Varma told a media meet here today that MLA Raj has become the kingpin of ‘legal plunder and constitutional brigandage’ in independent India.
“The Lok Satta Party acknowledges that several MLAs are personally clean and honest, and they are helpless victims of a vicious cycle. But the whole corrupt structure of government is symbolized by vote buying and multiple returns on investment, making politics big business and citizens, mere vote banks”.

Said Mr. Varma: “They splurge crores of rupees to buy voters outright or drown them in liquor or dangle other baits. Once in office, MLAs carve out a mini evil empire of their own in the constituency to recoup ten times their investment in the business of politics. Revenue offices, police stations and all Government departments become pawns in their hands. Without the MLA’s note or nod or recommendation, no file moves in offices or a work gets grounded. Projects, roads and buildings contracts, transfers and postings, police cases, houses, pensions and all schemes come in handy for milking people. In the MLA’s empire, panchayats, municipalities and zilla parishads all stand emasculated. The MLA is indeed the fulcrum of ‘swaharajya’. The Lok Satta is determined to expose the MLAs’ evil empire as a prelude to its ‘Surajya’ campaign from March 31”.

Exhibitions and cultural programs will be conducted throughout the State to expose the loot and plunder being indulged in by MLAs. The party plans to enlist 25000 volunteers for a fortnight from April 6 to spread the movement all over the State.

As part of the ‘Surajya’ campaign, the party will organize mega dharnas in front of Government offices between May 15 and 25 demanding curbs on liquor consumption which is playing havoc with people’. The Government itself should run liquor shops in limited numbers, instead of auctioning them with an eye on maximizing revenue.

The party will be conducting a survey on implementation of Government schemes by choosing one village in every district as a prelude to launching a direct action program in August.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Lok Satta Party Launching 'Surajya' Movement

The Lok Satta Party is spearheading a citizens' movement for Surajya beginning from Andhra Pradesh on March 23, 2008 (77th death anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh).

Announcing this here today, Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan (Dr. JP) said that while the Swaraj movement sought freedom from colonial rule, Surajya movement aims to free citizens from the chains of corrupt and distorted rule. While Swaraj movement achieved its objectives through non-violence and non-cooperation, Surajya movement will be based on the power of the vote.

Dr. JP said the Swaraj movement has yielded us self-governance and since independence, significant progress has undoubtedly been made across several fields. "However, the present political and governance culture has reduced this hard-earned Swaraj to Swaha-raj where public good has become merely incidental to the fulfillment of vested interests of a distorted political culture".

Dr. JP said that the nation today faced several critical challenges. They include:

  • Eliminating the pervasive and monumental corruption from our society and replacing the notoriously kleptocratic governance culture with a truly citizen-centric one
  • Establishing a political culture that is free from criminals and political dynasties
  • Ensuring equitable access to quality education, healthcare, and employment opportunities to every citizen irrespective of his or her position at birth
  • Eliminating societal discrimination based on caste and creed, and providing genuine opportunities for vertical growth to all sections of society
  • Ensuring true devolution of power to local governments, and empowerment of citizens
  • Ensuring access to speedy and affordable justice to all sections of society and restoring the rule of law

Dr. JP said: "There is a pressing need to build a credible, just, and equitable society that provides dignity, justice, and opportunities for all".

A number of renowned social activists, including Magasasy Award winners, are taking part in the Surajya movement. They include:

:: Anna Hazare
:: Ramesh Raamanathan (Janagraha)
:: Madhu Kishwar (Editor, Manushi)
:: Desikan (Catalyst Trust)
:: Sandeep Pandey
:: M. V. Devasahayam
:: T. N. Seshan
:: Shiv Khera
:: Julius Rebero
:: Arvind Khejriwal

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lok Satta Condemns Attack on Sundaraiah Vignana Kendram

The Lok Satta Party today condemned the attack on Sundaraiah Vignana Kendram and regretted the attempt at damaging the portrait of Sundaraiah, who had earned the affection and admiration of masses.

In a statement, party General Secretary D. V. V. S. Varma said that there is no place for violent, physical attacks and personal recrimination in politics, although there could be ideological clashes.

Mr. Varma said that everyone transcending politics should respect Sundaraiah Vignana Kendram as a distinguished cultural center. All democratic forces should condemn such physical attacks engineered by narrow-minded people to rouse people’s emotions.

He appealed to the Government to arrest the culprits immediately and deal strictly with such evil culture. All parties should focus on promoting constructive politics without stoking feelings of hatred.

Lok Satta leaders Mr. B. Satyanarayana, Mr. Bandaru Rammohan Rao, Mrs. D.Saroja visited Baghligmpally and paid respects at Sri Sundaraiah’s portrait.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Dr. JP Meets his Orkut Friends

Orkut is a social networking site popular amongst youth in India. Youth discovered it is a great way of being connected. One can find long lost friends, stay connected with current friends, and make new friends. One can create communities of their own on any topic of their liking or join existing ones.

Many communities have been created by earnest Orkutters on political topics. The communities have become hotbeds for emerging trends in political thought amongst Indian youth. Youth discuss here wide-ranging political ideas and thoughts. Youth discuss the state of the existing political culture and the need for a change and how we can bring about the change. They discuss the pressing need to combat the menace of corruption in our governance and politics.

Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan and Lok Satta Party are popular among young Orkutters. There are more than 110 communities in Orkut dedicated to Lok Satta Party and Dr. JP. Thousands of youth are members of these communities.

They drum up support for Lok Satta Party and discuss the importance of ensuring to all equal opportunities for growth and ending any discrimination based on birth. They discuss the novel measures introduced by Lok Satta Party that stand testimonial to the party’s commitment to transparency and democracy. Many earnest, erudite youth desiring change participate in these discussions. They have been advocating the need for a New Political Culture in the cyber world.

LSP provided the virtual world Lok Satta Party activists a chance to get involved in the activities of LSP in real.

Dr. JP met his Orkut friends at the party head office at 1:30 pm on Sunday, 9th March and had an interaction with them. There was a lively discussion on the current political scenario in Andhra Pradesh. Dr. JP emphasized the need for youth to take an active part in politics. The youth expressed their support to Lok Satta Party and wished to participate in its activities.

The active members of the party then guided them on how they can get involved in the activities of LSP in their locality.

The meet concluded with the youth taking a pledge for a corruption-free, developed India.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fare Reduction an Eye-wash, Says Lok Satta Party

The Lok Satta Party today regretted that the railway budget had by and large neglected the laying of new tracks, although many surveys had already been completed. Only when new tracks are laid, more and more trains can be introduced to new areas.

Mr. D. V. V. S. Varma, General Secretary of the Lok Satta Party, in a statement today described the so-called reduction in fares as an eye-wash as the Railways had steeply raised the burden on passengers by converting express trains into super fast trains and increasing the ‘tatkal’ quota at the expense of the general quota.

Facilitating easy purchase of tickets would not solve the basic problem of inadequate services. For instance, the ‘garib rath’ being introduced between Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam should have been a daily service instead of one meant for three days a week.

He welcomed the concession in fares to students and women, although it might have been done with an eye on elections.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Golden Age or Era of Stupor? Asks Mahila Satta

It is not milk and honey that is flowing in the streets of Andhra Pradesh in the "golden age" of Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy; it is simply Indian made foreign liquor and illicitly distilled country liquor, says Mahila Satta, the women's wing of the Lok Satta Party.

The Mahila Satta organized demonstrations and sit-ins at Excise Department offices all over the State today to protest against the Government policy of treating Excise as an "akshaya patra" for its revenue receipts. They courted arrest volunterily, taken to Abids police station and subsequently released.
Talking to the media, Mrs. D. Saroja, Mahila Satta state Secretary, said that successive Governments had already ruined the lives of 70 lakh families in the State by promoting unbridled liquor consumption through unauthorized outlets and turning a blind eye to illicit distillation of country liquor and 'gudumba'.
If the Government planned to get a revenue of Rs.11,000 crore by way of excise and sales tax, people would be spending Rs.25,000 crore on purchases of liquor. "People's expenditure on liquor far exceeds the amounts the Government spends on Rs.2 a kg rice supply, INDIRAMMA houses, pensions and three per cent interest schemes - all ostensibly meant to uplift the poor".
"The Government is indulging in sheer hypocrisy when it claims to work for the welfare of the poor through umpteen schemes even as it ruins their health and finances by encouraging liquor consumption by upping sales targets year after year. Are we in a golden age or in an era of stupor", Mrs. Saroja asked.
In response to the Mahila Satta's agitation against belt shops since July 2007, the Chief Minister had promised to shut them down and asked police and excise officials to extend their cooperation to women. Although the Mahila Satta had given details of belt shops district-wise, no action had been taken. The Chief Minister, however, had the audacity to declare once again the other day in the Legislative Council that there were no belt shops in the State.
"A Government that shuts its eyes to ground realities is bound to face people's wrath", Mrs. Saroja warned.
Mrs. Saroja added that the Mahila Satta would resist belt shop auctions when they take place in the next few months. Party Women leaders S. Manorama, N. Saroja Devi, D. Lashmi participated in the protest.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

India Faces Threat Of Falling Apart If Issues are Not Addressed: Dr. JP

India faces the threat of balkanization unless systemic changes are carried out to provide political space to every group, said Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan here today. “Mere protestations of ‘Mera Bharat Mahan’, without addressing the basic fissures, will not rescue India from falling apart”, he added.

Addressing a “One India – One People” forum organized by the Lok Satta Party in the context of attacks against non-Marathis in Mumbai and other places in Maharashtra, Dr. JP pointed that political India has already been decimated since national parties, elbowed out of most of the States, are forced to join hands with regional parties. The first-past-the-post electoral system enables parties based on region and religion, language and caste to whip up narrow sentiments and ride to power. The so-called national verdict is nothing but an aggregation of State verdicts. Widespread illiteracy and universal adult franchise are an explosive combination ,which narrow-minded parties are shrewdly exploiting.

Dr. JP identified caste-based reservations as another issue that is tearing part the country. Instead of dissipating the anger of neglected sections through innovative solutions, political parties merely stoked the flames in pursuance of their vote bank politics. He feared the break-out of a conflagration in the hinterland of New Delhi where Gujjars and Meenas are fighting each other over reservations.

Dr. JP clarified that reservations are indeed necessary for sections neglected for centuries as an interim measure. They, however, do not provide a permanent solution. That, however, does not mean that the son of a Collector or the daughter of a Minister too should enjoy reservations simply based on their caste. A solution lies in ensuring that every one born in this country irrespective of his caste or religion has a right to free and quality education for 12 years and every one, willing and eligible, is enabled to purse higher education at Government cost.

The economically backward, who are not eligible for reservations in jobs and education can be given a weightage of say 10 per cent marks in the qualifying examinations considering their income and rural upbringing. Politicians, instead of forging such win-win situations, are deliberately and crudely provoking anger and hatred among sections of people.
On the recent developments in Maharashtra, Bihar and West Bengal where some politicians have tried to fan parochial feelings, Dr. JP said that the sons of the soil thesis should be dismissed categorically if India were to remain one. The right of every Indian citizen to pursue education or employment or business or profession or simply anywhere in the country is non-negotiable. Every Indian should condemn parochial tendencies, recalling Martin Luther King’s quote, “The silence of good men is more dangerous than the brutality of bad men”.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

One India – One People

The recent crude and opportunistic attempts by some politicians to whip up regional chauvinism call for responsible citizens across India to come to the rescue of the idea of

One India - One People

It is the constitutional right of all law-abiding Indian citizens to have education, carry on business, seek employment, and have residence in any part of the country. India survives as a single nation of free people or it does not survive at all.

The recent attempts by some to whip up narrow parochialism and resorting to violence is contrary to the spirit of national unity, irrelevant and injurious to the culture necessary for economic growth and national prosperity. The strength of our cities lies in their multicultural cosmopolitanism.

With this in view, Lok Satta Party is organizing a forum to discuss the need to foster the spirit of tolerance and peaceful co-existence. Lok Satta Party invites representatives of all communities to attend the forum, express their views in this regard, and strengthen the spirit of fraternity among all Indians.

Meet Agenda

1. Welcome
2. Introduction – Lok Satta Party advocates equal rights for all Indians across India
3. Opening of the discussion by Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan on the importance of combating parochial attitudes
4. Pass a resolution and take a pledge to develop a stronger pan-Indian community spirit in Hyderabad.

11-6-841, Red Hills,
Hyderabad 500004

Time and Date: 10 – 1 pm
Sunday, 24th February, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mahila Satta Demonstrations to Expose Govt. Duplicity

Hyderabad, Feb.18 - Mahila Satta, the women's wing of the Lok Satta Party, will organize sit-ins ('dharnas') and demonstrations in front of Excise Department offices all over the State on February 25 to protest against Government’s duplicity. Even as the Government dangled schemes like supply of rice at Rs.2 a kg and three per cent interest loans with the ostensible purpose of helping the poor, it ruined them by promoting liquor consumption. "Constitution of a committee to campaign against liquor consumption by a Government which encourages belt shops to boost its revenue is nothing but hypocritical."

Mrs. D. Saroja, Mahila Satta Secretary, pointed out in a statement that liquor sales would shoot up to Rs.25000 crore in the coming financial year, if the Budget presented to the State Legislature is any indication. The Budget provided for an increase in excise revenue by Rs.866 crore during 2008-09. The Government would be earning Rs.11000 crore by way of excise and sales tax on liquor sales against Rs.8000 crore now.

"What is the point in the Government unveiling scheme after scheme in the name of the poor even as it ruins them money wise and health wise through unbridled liquor sales?”, Mrs. Saroja asked. "The Mahila Satta will not rest until belt shops are closed. It will resist liquor shop auctions when they take place in the next few months".

No Attempt To Arrest Leakages: Dr. JP on State Budget

Hyderabad, Feb.15 - Mrs. D. Saroja, Mahila Satta Secretary, pointed out in a statement that liquor sales would shoot up to Rs.25000 crore in the coming financial year, if the Budget presented to the State Legislature is any indication. The Budget provided for an increase in excise revenue by Rs.866 crore during 2008-09. The Government would be earning Rs.11000 crore by way of excise and sales tax on liquor sales against Rs.8000 crore now.

Dr. JP said today that mere allocation of funds without a radical restructuring of systems was a futile exercise. There has been no substantial decline in poverty over the past two decades despite huge budgetary allocations. On the contrary, there has been an increase in the incidence of distress among vulnerable sections of the population.

Referring to the proposal to supply rice at Rs.2 a kg, he pointed out that going by the number of white cards already issued, the number of the poor exceeded the State’s population. On top of it, the Government now proposed to issue more and more white cards. On construction of houses for the poor, Dr. JP said the scheme was commendable but the Government turned a Nelson’s eye to the huge irregularities. Everybody knew about corruption in the execution of irrigation schemes but there was no word in the budget about curbing it.

Dr. JP said that the budget “does not address critical problems in education and health care or in tackling unemployment or making agriculture remunerative. For instance, Borabanda locality in Hyderabad with a population of over 10000 does not have a single Government school as a result of which even the poor are forced to send their children to costly private schools. Reposing its faith in ‘Aarogyasri’, which caters to a miniscule of people needing surgeries, the Government continues to neglect the public health sector. The Government fails to address the problem of the unemployed. Even if all the special economic zones materialize, they provide jobs only to less than 3 lakhs of people whereas there are 15 lakhs of educated unemployed. There is no attempt at making them employable by imparting the requisite skills or making farming remunerative with provision of credit, extension work and value addition. The so-called debt relief benefited only one-third of the farming community covered by official channels of credit while the remainder, dependent on private moneylenders, are pushed deeper into debt.

Dr. JP said that extension of quality education and health care free of cost to one and all, imparting of skills to the jobless and ensuring higher incomes to farmers alone will eradicate poverty.

Dr. JP complimented Finance Minister K. Rosaiah for abiding by the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act targets and for extending scholarships and fee reimbursement to all backward class students on par with those of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

However, the huge debt burden of the State exceeding over Rs.100,000 crore exposed a serious structural problem. Most of the revenue the State realized on sale of Government lands and liquor went towards the repayment of loans along with interest.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

LSP Enunciates “Pancha Sutras” for Development of Tirupati

Dr. JP Launches LSP’s campaign for Tirupati Elections

LSP announces Sri T. Janardhan Naidu as its Mayoral Candidate

Lok Satta Party has launched its campaign for the Tirupati Municipal Corporation elections. Lok Satta Party came up with “Pancha Sutras”, a five-point policy framework, for the development of the Tirupati city.

Lok Satta Party has announced Sri T. Janardhan Naidu, IAS (Rtd.) and former Chittoor district collector as its mayoral candidate for Tirupati City. Sri T. Janardhan Naidu is also the party district president.

Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan launched the party’s campaign on Tuesday with a three-day padayatra in the temple city and interacted with the public en route. The padayatra by Dr. JP and the party activists is being carried out to get first-hand information on public grievances and to put across to the public the “Pancha Sutras.” Youth were seen interacting with Dr. JP throughout the walk.

The “Pancha Sutras” of LSP for empowering the citizens of Tirupati and providing them an accountable, responsive, and responsible city government are enunciated as follows:
1. Enabling people’s participation in governance by forming Division committees and allocating the committee Rs. 1 crore for five years;
2. Putting in place a 24-hour toll-free call center to ensure faster response to civic complaints and paying the complainant Rs. 100 per day of delay from the salary of the concerned official(s);
3. Lok Satta Party to recall its corporator/mayor in case of substantial evidence on charges of corruption, criminality, or land grabbing;
4. Eliminating corruption by ensuring complete transparency in public procurement and tendering process and forming a special squad under the combined aegis of the revenue and police departments; and finally
5. Taking steps to improve public sanitation and building ring road, bypass roads, and flyovers to withstand the heavy traffic of pilgrims.

Dr. JP said Lok Satta Party is moving with clear goals of making the fruits of development reach the poorest man and woman and ensuring dignity, equality, and opportunity for all.

He urged the people of the Tirupati City to reject the prevailing political culture that brazenly uses money and muscle to coerce and woo the poor at election time to rob them later. He called for greater participation of youth and middle classes in politics to usher in the New Political Culture.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Dr. JP Calls for Greater Participation of Women in Politics

Women should look at politics as a means of achieving self-respect and self-reliance for themselves as well as the people at large said Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan. He spoke at the self-employment training programme organized by Mahila Satta, the women wing of Lok Satta Party at the party State office. Representatives from Mahoobnagar Ideal Women’s Association provided training to women in making chocolate, surf, pain balm, liquid soap, shampoo. The women who acquired training will in turn train other women in their localities.

He said women should not get disheartened with the immediate problems they grapple with, but step forward with confidence and take an active part in politics. He said moving away of women from politics because it has got corrupt and criminalized will only aggravate the problem.

Dr. JP explained the women present the importance of their participation in local governance proposed by Lok Satta Party at the ward and district levels. He said women have developed an aversion to politics because bandhs, rastarokos, slander, and fighting have become an indispensable part of the prevailing political culture. He said the life of the common man will deteriorate further if the political culture remains the same. He said Lok Satta Party came into being to usher in a New Political Culture.

He said instead of becoming a private affair of a few as with other political parties, provisions have been made to enable genuine people’s participation in Lok Satta Party. He said LSP is built to be the property of the people and steps are taken to not cause any inconvenience to people during party events and maintain dignity even while criticizing someone. He said in a democracy the common man is king. He said empowering local governments and providing quality education, effective healthcare, and employment opportunities to all constitute the main agenda of LSP.

He said Lok Satta Party has reserved space for women in the organizational structure and party tickets like no other party has. He exhorted women to utilize this opportunity. He said greater women’s participation will expedite the process of ushering in the New Political culture.

He said setting up division-level governments to take governance to the door step of citizens ranks high on the agenda of Lok Satta Party for the coming GHMC elections and greater women’s participation in local governance will ensure 100% results. He exhorted the women who undertook training to in turn train women in their localities and help them stand on their own feet.

Mahila Satta State general secretary, Mrs. D. Saroja, treasurer Mrs. D. Manorama and Dr. Shoib, Mrs. K. Geetamurthy, Mrs. Rama Devi, Mrs. Subhashini, Mrs. Gajanani, Mrs. Umabala, Mrs. Mudhosid, and Mrs. Fatima have participated in the programme.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lok Satta Welcomes Suspension of Building Regularization Orders

The Lok Satta Party today welcomed the Government decision to suspend the building regularization orders, which had sought to penalize ordinary people for crimes committed by officials and builders.

The Lok Satta Party had launched an agitation against the orders both in the districts and in Hyderabad city.

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan (Dr. JP) reiterated in a statement that penalties for regularization of apartments should be collected from officials and builders who were guilty of dereliction of their duties and not owners. Only in respect of independent houses, owners who deviated from approved plans should be made to pay the penalty.

Dr. JP also urged the Government to rationalize the proposed penalties considering factors like the location of buildings, and the year and cost of their construction.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

LSP Throws Open Toll-Free Number for Complaints on Civic Issues

Toll-Free Number

On this Republic Day, Lok Satta Party will throw open a toll-free number for the citizens of GHMC where they can complain on slackness, delay, or failure of the department/agency concerned in the delivery of services in civic amenities.

The toll-free number is:


Friday, January 25, 2008

Lok Satta Party offices to Function as Citizen Service Centers

Lok Satta Party offices will be functioning as Citizen Service Centers said Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, President of Lok Satta Party. He said in the first phase, on this Republic Day, 157 Citizen Service Centers will start functioning throughout the length and breadth of the State. Of them 43 fall under the GHMC.

He said a Citizen Service Center will perform the following functions:

· It will become the hub for citizen action and informed assertion
· It will be a repository of information that is simple, accurate and useful on a variety of services the citizens are entitled to receive from government and its agencies
· It will carry information on a wide spectrum of government activities including certificates, land-related issues, public distribution system, voting rights, civic issues, public utilities, civil rights and stake holder empowerment
· It will act as counseling center for young people seeking information on employment opportunities and where possible senior staff of LSP will guide the youngsters in the career plans

In the objective of encouraging and enabling people’s active participation in the governance process, the Citizen Service Center is an important milestone said Dr. JP.

Competitive Populism Only Perpetuates Poverty: Dr. JP

In their unabashed quest to get into power at any cost, traditional political parties are indulging in competitive populism, charged Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today.
Pretending to be benefactors, politicians treated people as mendicants and doled out sops and handouts as if they owned the money. Unfortunately, Governments and the media conveniently glossed over the fact that politicians lorded over money collected from people themselves. They remained silent even as politicians exploited people's poverty, illiteracy and ignorance.

Dr. JP said that that no one would dispute that the State should protect the poor and the dispossessed in an underdeveloped country like ours. But it should not be at the cost of the Government's fundamental and primary duty of eliminating poverty and enabling people to stand on their own feet with dignity. "But in India politicians have developed a vested interest in perpetuating poverty and lost sight of the country's future".

Dr. JP was reacting to the sops being showered on people by both the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party with an eye on the elections to the Assembly and the Lok Sabha in the near future. If one party promises loans at 'pavala vaddi', the other rivals it with '10 paise vaddi'. If one offers to write off interest, the other promises to write off loans plus interest. If one promises subsidies on a product or service, the other offers to provide it free of cost. If one arranges free marriages, the other offers a golden 'tali'.

"What the nation needs today is a comprehensive social security scheme and not piecemeal and ad hoc relief".

Dr. JP said "doles and handouts will not mitigate the suffering of the poor or enable them to live with dignity unless Governments address people's basic problems". The Lok Satta Party, he said, firmly believes that people can live with dignity and partake in wealth creation only when all forms of discrimination based on birth are eradicated.

It is possible when:
:: Quality education is made free and accessible to all
:: Free and comprehensive healthcare is guaranteed to all
:: Youth are empowered to participate in wealth creation through acquisition
of skills.
:: Incomes of people in traditional occupations like farming and weaving are enhanced.
Dr. JP said it was a shame that a visiting British Prime Minister has to remind the Indian Prime Minister on the importance of universal and free primary education. "It is time that the politics of competitive populism and plunder gave way to politics of promoting human dignity." There should be a national debate on the appropriate anti-poverty schemes and the methods of their implementation.

Dr. JP pointed out how inefficiencies and corruption prevented even targeted people from availing of Government sops. For instance, the people covered by white cards in Andhra Pradesh exceeded the State's population. According to the Planning Commission and the National Sample Survey, only 16 per cent of people in Andhra Pradesh with a population of 80 million are below the poverty line. But Andhra Pradesh has more than 18 million families with white cards, accounting for a population of more than 80 million, assuming that each family has four and half members. "Yet, we hear that thousands of genuinely poor do not have white cards. Similarly, we hear pensions meant for widows, the aged and the handicapped as also houses under the INDIRAMMA scheme are cornered by the rich."

Even when the schemes reach deserving families, there is corruption every step of the way. Typically, Rs. 3000 is the bribe demanded for releasing money under housing programme for the poor. As Mr. Rajiv Gandhi once said, only 16 paisa is reaching the people on every rupee spent.

Dr JP called for a national debate on education and healthcare for all, and on ways of eradicating poverty and helping people stand on their own feet with dignity. "Political parties must shed self serving hypocricy and cynicism, and treat people as soverigns and citizens with self respect, not as vote banks and mendicants".