Friday, April 17, 2009

Not a single party leader was ready to make that promise

In a interview with Rediff Mr Jayparakash Narayan President of Lok Satta Party says: 

  • In what way Lok Satta is different from the other political parties? 
  • The conventional parties are trying to make the people a beggar by offering free things like free TV, free rice and free electricity. Instead of seriously making efforts to eradicate poverty and enabling the people to stand on their own feet with dignity, they want to reduce them to beggary. They have made politics a business. They buy voters with money and liquor and on coming to power they make ten times more money. They eat the public money and remaining they would use for distributing free TV, free rice and electricity. Divide and rule remains their political philosophy. They divide people in to Hindus, Muslims, in the name of region and castes. 
  • What is your agenda? 
  • We need do three things on top priority. Eradicate poverty, decentralise the government completely, and third -- bring accountability, transparency and fight against corruption.
  • Poverty can be eradicated within five years and with the present budget of Rs 1 lakh crore for Andhra Pradesh. For this we need four things, compulsory education for every child irrespective of his/her community, caste and creed, free, in private or government sector, with English and computers. We need to develop skills in the youth to make them employable. We want to build 1,000 small towns across the state at a cost of Rs 30,000 crore generating 50 lakh jobs stimulating the economy. We will provide urban facilities in the rural areas. 
  • Third, we need free health care to the people as a national policy ranging from preventive cure to the treatment and surgery for any big ailment. We can do it through private-public participation and competition between the service providers. Fourth, in agriculture and traditional occupations like weaving, pottery etc, we will enhance income by upgrading skills, using technology and providing access to the market. 
  • Will it be same as the Zilla Parishad? 
  • No. It will be much better than that. The will have more power. It will be a local government at the doorsteps of the people. 
  • Secondly, we will try to achieve Rs 1000 per capita to every town, village and ward. Suppose if a village has a population of 5000, we will give them Rs 50 lakh per annum to meet the local needs like drinking water roads, drainage, toilets at home and in public places, parks, street lighting. They will have to take care of all these things. It will be only 8% of the total public spending. They will not have to go around begging money for these purposes. 
  • Take a city like Hyderabad where every ward has a population of 50,000. We will give Rs 5 crore to every such ward which will be spent by a ward committee including a local corporator and a local elected citizen from every polling centre. Thus we will build a local government around the citizen, unlike a centralised, remote, incompetent and corrupt government 
  • How about corruption? 
  • We will have zero tolerance for corruption and make Right To Information Act a powerful weapon by implementing it completely and fairly. Once the politics itself is clean, we don't spend Rs 5 crore to get elected. When there will be no vote buying, then you can have clean government. 

However, Mr Narayan is silent on how he will get money and where and how much he will tax and so on. Unless he has clarity people will start doubting him and his party. If he wanted to be transparent let us share your plan of tax and how to get resources for funding.

No comments: