Lok Satta

Wednesday, 11 November 2009 13:57

TDP is debasing political discourse: Dr. JP

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Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today regretted that hostile elements are not ashamed of maliciously hitting the Lok Satta Party and him personally in their all-consuming desire to grab power by means fair or foul.

 

Addressing a media conference, Dr. JP said that just as the present-day Congress is totally different from the Congress of Mahatma Gandhi, the present-day TDP has little to do with the TDP of NTR. The Congress and the TDP are the two sides of the same coin. Both would not mind cleaving society for partisan ends.

 

The Congress did not fight shy of passing the Muslim Women’s Maintenance Act, the unlocking of the Rama Janmabhoomi and encouraging Bhindarnwale in Punjab to garner Muslim, Hindu and Sikh votes. In a similar fashion, the TDP threw overboard its policy of a united Andhra Pradesh and clasped hands with the separatist TRS since it felt such an opportunistic alliance would catapult it into power.

 

Dr. JP said that in its latest bid to capture the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, the TDP is indulging in unabashed character assassination by repeating baseless charges ad nauseam.

 

Dr. JP rebutted all the TDP allegations point by point. He pointed out that he did not snap his association with the EMRI merely to ensure its survival. The EMRI, now functional in 10 States, has so far attended to 55 lakh emergency calls and saved more than 1.25 lakh lives. On its board today are eminent persons like former India’s Ambassador to the U. S. Abid Hussain, former CBI Director Karthikeyan and former L & T CEO Ramakrsihnan.

 

“Does the TDP regard my association with the EMRI a crime?”

 

The Lok Satta utilized the services of not merely Nagarjuna but also those of Sunny Deol and Jagapati Babu to rouse awareness among voters on the criminal antecedents of candidates in elections. It was as a result of the Lok Satta initiative that the election law had been amended making it mandatory for all candidates to declare their criminal background.

 

“Does the TDP regard my utilizing Nagarjuna’s services for a noble cause a crime?”

 

“I am deeply saddened that Mr. Nagarjuna’s name is unnecessarily dragged into this malicious tirade, merely because he had the courage to lend his name to a noble campaign against criminalization of politics.”

 

Dr. JP said he was proud of his association not merely with the NDA and the UPA but also with the TDP. The honorable TDP Chief Minister, Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu, had chosen Dr JP to make recommendations on governance for his 2020 vision report. Dr.JP was closely associated with the TDP Government in drafting the new Societies Act. It was as a result of his efforts, the TDP Government came out for the first time with a citizen’s charter with penalties.

 

Dr. JP said he had occasion to work closely with the NDA Government and leaders like L. K. Advani , Arun Shourie and Arun Jaitley and succeeded in ushering in far-reaching laws to prevent defections and limit the size of Cabinets and initiated the process of voter registration through post offices..

 

By working closely with the UPA Government, he succeeded in getting the Right to Information Act, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and the Gram Nyayalaya Act passed and schemes like the National Rural Health Mission being launched.

 

“Does the TDP regard my working in national interest a crime?”

 

Although he enjoyed the rank of a Union Minister of State as a member of the Administrative Reforms Commission, he had never revealed his status to anybody and never used Government accommodation or car.

 

“Does the TDP regard the drafting of ARC reports concerning a host of reforms a crime?”

 

Dr. JP rubbished TDP claims that he was soft on the Congress and listed a number of issues on which he vehemently differed with the ruling party whereas the TDP maintained studied silence on most issues. Whether it was Arogyasri or mammoth lift irrigation schemes or cooperative farming or power policies, the Lok Satta did not spare the Congress in its criticism.

 

In fact, it was the Lok Satta which had filed a case in the High Court and succeeded in getting the GHMC elections held. It was again the Lok Satta which had filed a case against the GHMC Act provisions which facilitate the undoing of democratic elections by conferring the voting rights on MPs and State legislators who are not members of the civic body.

 

Dr. JP underlined that the present-day younger generation is fed up with traditional parties and politicians who regard grabbing power and minting money as the be-all and end-all of their lives, ignoring people who elected them and their problems. The traditional parties are intolerant of the Lok Satta because it has emerged as a viable, alternative political platform.

 

“This persistent abuse and malicious allegations are aimed at undermining public confidence in the Lok Satta and to perpetuate the status quo. People particularly the middle classes, youth and women should rise. Lok Satta’s struggle is to bring back nobility and dignity to politics. People cannot be bystanders in this struggle between immoral, corrupt, vote bank, casteist politics of status quoists and the clean, people-centered, nation-building, unifying politics of change practiced by the Lok Satta.”

 

Katari Srinivasarao is Mayor candidate of Lok Satta

 

Dr JP announced Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao, party general secretary, as mayor candidate for GHMC elections from Lok Satta. Mr. Srinivas is assistant professor in computer sciences in CBIT and also a serious social activist.