Press Releases Archive

Dr. JP welcomes Aamir Khan's call for Clean and honest politics

Lok Satta President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan has welcomed Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan’s call for the emergence of a political party which stands for “clean and honest politics".

In his blog http://www.aamirkhan.com/blog, Aamir Khan had blamed all political parties for failing to tackle terrorism and added that the people too were to blame for not exercising their right to vote and making injudicious choices. He said, "We can only blame ourselves guys. Half of us don't go to vote. The half that does vote has selected these guys."

In a letter to Aamir Khan, Dr. JP pointed out that "The mindless anger of many people against politicians can easily become anti-political and lead to chaos and disintegration or authoritarianism. We need clean and honest politics with a practical and inclusive agenda. Vote buying and inducements and stoking flames of hatred and divisions should give way to meaningful public discourse and the awakening and mobilization of citizens."

Recalling that the Lok Satta movement, engaged in political and governance reform work for over 12 years, had achieved impressive results, Dr. JP said, "But we have come to the conclusion that unless a new political culture is evolved all else is lost." That was why the Lok Satta Party was launched two years ago. Dr. JP pointed out that the Lok Satta's political base is in Andhra Pradesh for the time being since building a national political entity is a Herculean task and needs vast resources and leadership of many credible people across the country."

Dr. JP said: "Your words are music to the ears of all lovers of liberty and national integration. We should meet at the earliest to share ideas and see how best we can take them forward."

Saturday, December 6, 2008 - 08:58

No opportunistic alliances, Declares Lok Satta

The Lok Satta Party will rather go it alone than enter into opportunistic electoral alliances in the ensuing elections to the Assembly and the Lok Sabha.

Stating this unequivocally in a political resolution, the Working Committee of the party, which met today, said that any alliance should be based on policies that would change politics and improve people’s lives. "The party extends its hand of friendship to any party, including Praja Rajyam, which are prepared for policy-based alliances. But under no circumstances will the party enter into an opportunistic alliance with an eye on winning a few more seats."

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan and General Secretary D. V. V. S. Varma conducted the proceedings.

In its analysis of the current situation, the Lok Satta Party said politics in the State are caught up in a dangerous, vicious cycle. First, the most pernicious element is the play of money power. Parties are getting ready to field candidates who can spend at least Rs.5 crore- Rs.6 crore each to get elected. Already parties have been spending money like water to mobilize people for meetings and road shows. Second, the main parties have become private estates of certain families and their followers. Third, the parties are focusing their attention on caste-based mobilization of votes. Fourth, the parties are trying to encash the glamour and charisma of movie stars instead of engaging themselves in a discussion on political policies. Fifth, the parties are offering sops, freebies, subsidies and concessions all of which turn people into mendicants rather than on policies that make people self-reliant. Sixth, the parties are reciting social justice mantra to masquerade their bid to give tickets to multi millionaires belonging to weaker sections.

The Lok Satta said that it would not like to get sucked into the vicious political cycle. Instead, it aimed at breaking the cycle by providing an alternative platform. "The party is aware that unshackling politics from money power is not easy but there is no alternative. If only people will it, the change can be effected in the coming elections itself," the party said. "The party, however, firmly believes that vast expenditure for buying votes and influence of ill-gotten wealth on politics are the root causes of monumental political corruption. The Lok Satta has emerged as a people’s platform to root out corruption and bring in clean politics."

The Lok Satta Party pointed out that a solution to the present political crisis lay in a moral revolution which it is spearheading.

The party sees many silver linings in the present dark political horizon. First, thanks to the likely multi-cornered contests in the State, one can win a seat with a share of 25-30 percent of the polled votes. Second, money and liquor influence only 40 percent of actual voters. If three or four parties share such tainted votes , each party gets only 10-15 percent. Third, 60 percent of actual voters are not vulnerable to money power and most of them happen to be employees, middle classes, farmers, youth and those who are concerned about the country. In addition, there are nearly 15 percent of voters who do not go to the polling booth because of their revulsion for the present-day politics. They will be ready to exercise their franchise if they see a party wedded to moral values.

Against such a backdrop, the Lok Satta Party felt it has a bright future if it mobilizes all people who stand for new politics. "If we engender confidence among all such people that they can open a new chapter in State politics with their vote, there will be a silent revolution."

Saturday, December 6, 2008 - 08:49

Lok Satta unit formed in Karnataka

The Karnataka unit of the Lok Satta Party has come into being with the party’s Working Committee, which met here today, clearing the proposal emanating from Karnataka.

A number of citizens who met at Benagluru on October 25 decided to form the Lok Satta Party unit to foster a new political culture which places national interests above narrow sectional concerns based on religion, region, caste and language. The unit subscribes to internal democracy, transparency in political funding and probity in public life. Placing citizen at the center of governance and combating corruption and misgovernance form part of the party’s objectives.

Dr. Kesava Kumar was elected Karnataka State Coordinator, Mr. Ashok Kamat, State Secretary and Mr. Shashidhar Alabur, State Treasurer.

Saturday, December 6, 2008 - 08:48

Dr.JP's Appeal To Youth

Dear friend,

Kindly send e-mails to the PM and to the addresses given below. Also forward this e-mail to your friends, relatives, all your contacts, and ask them to send e-mails. This effort will build pressure on the government and political parties to take necessary measures to tackle terrorism.

e-mail to : The President of India (Smt Pratibha Patil), The Prime Minister of India (Dr. Manmohan Singh), The Leader of Opposition Party in Lok Sabha (Shri LK Advani), The Chairperson of the UPA (Smt. Sonia Gandhi).

Email : pmh7rcr@pmo.nic.in manmohan@sansad.nic.in ,
presidentofindia@rb.nic.in
soniagandhi@sansad.nic.in
advanilk@sansad.nic.in,

text of letter to be sent is given below

Dear ……………….

We earnestly urge you to immediately act on the following critical areas for improving national security and to eliminate the scourge of terrorism from our country:

1. Utilize the powers vested by the Article 355 of our Constitution to protect States from external aggression and internal disturbance; classify terrorism and related offences as federal offences; entrust the investigation of these federal offences to an empowered investigative agency at the federal level; put into place a self-actuating mechanism under a unified command-and-control for coordinating anti-terror operations between various State police forces, armed forces and intelligence and investigative agencies. This mechanism must be geared towards prevention of terrorism including intelligence gathering, conducting operations against terrorist attacks, prosecution of terrorists and their collaborators and imparting just and appropriate retribution to the guilty parties.

2. The NSG should be based in and operating out of several locations across India to ensure that major habitations, strategic national assets and vulnerable areas are adequately covered.

3. Strengthen our anti-terror laws to permit the admission of confessions and depositions made before the police - based on prima facie evidence and involving due procedure, as evidence before courts of law. The burden of proof in cases of terrorism should be shifted on to the perpetrators of crime. In all terrorism offences, steps should be taken to safeguard the security of the judges, prosecution, investigators and including in-camera hearings, evidence through video camera, etc.

4. Implement a system of National Identification Card to ensure that identification of and intelligence gathering on anti-national elements becomes more effective.

5. Build consensus on systemic educational reforms to impart modern, skill-based and functional education to all children in religious schools – gurukuls, madarsas, etc. so that they do not become recruiting grounds for forces of disruption.

6. Work towards restoring the legitimacy of political leadership and state institutions by eliminating illegitimate money power in politics, curbing corruption and making crime investigation free from partisan politics.

We have great faith in your leadership and hope that your timely action will make our country safer for us ordinary citizens, in the days to come. Jai Hind!

…..(sender's name, email ID, contact, etc.…)………….

For further details or queries on the subject, please visit www.loksatta.org or contact Lok Satta Party at 040-23231818/2829 or write to jp@loksattaparty.com

Saturday, December 6, 2008 - 08:42

Lok Satta to decide on election strategy

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.

Thursday, December 4, 2008 - 08:44

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