About Loksatta Party
Loksatta began as a citizen's movement in 1996 to help promote electoral and governance reforms. Loksatta Party was born in 2006 out of the realization that the best and brightest of society need to embrace politics. It is the party for the new generation, a generation that is sick and tired of dynastic and vote bank politics, a generation that has no time for politics run by the unholy trinity of corruption, greed and nepotism.
We are a party that views politics as an honest endeavour to bring change to India. We believe the "India Problem" is one of unfulfilled potential and avoidable suffering. It can be addressed. But for that we need parties that are not bankrolled by powerful vested interests. We need representatives who can drive reform that encourages development. We need statesmen who fight for laws and justice, in all fairness.
That said, most of us believe the existing system will never let such leaders assume positions of power and responsibility. The flaw in this thought is that the system needs to change before we participate. The reality is that without our participation the system will not change. We need to participate to force the system to change. We must bring in new players who will, in turn, change the rules of the game. We need new players who make people rather than partisan interests the focus of governance.
Loksatta Party is a political party with a back-to-basics, pro-citizen ideology that stands for individual rights, economic freedom, and social justice. It is a party that is not trapped in the legacy of the system. It is a party with a comprehensive approach to politics and governance using transparency, decriminalization, electoral reform, a citizen's charter, and legislative and judicial reform.
The answer to bad politics is not "no politics". It is good politics.
Can Loksatta Party make a difference?
In the past few years, Loksatta Party has built flourishing units in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Delhi. We have eight elected Gram Panchayat representatives and one Sarpanch in Maharashtra and 40 elected Gram Panchayat representatives and four Sarpanches in Andhra Pradesh. We were the party to pioneer the Lokpal Bill in India when our founder, Dr Jayaprakash Narayan, authored and presented it in undivided Andhra Pradesh in 2009. JP was co-author of the Right to Information Bill along with Aruna Roy and others, and was instrumental in getting it passed. The current version of the Lokpal Bill with the government is Loksatta’s revision.
As a Member of the Andhra Pradesh State Legislative Assembly from 2009 to 2014 representing Kukatpally constituency, JP demonstrated what can be achieved even while working within the current system. More than Rs650 crore worth of public works were undertaken during his term with zero pilferage, bribes or political corruption. Loksatta Party collaborated with non-governmental organisations to improve the quality of education in more than 70 government schools, all of which now have functioning toilets! The long-pending rail overbridge connecting Hi-Tech City and Kukatpally, which was stuck for years due to an inter-governmental feud between Indian Railways and the Government of Andhra Pradesh saw the light of day after JP's intervention. Perhaps his proudest accomplishment, however, was that more than 5,000 young men and women were provided employment through skills training at our party offices and by bringing employers and jobseekers together.
In addition, Loksatta is credited with pushing through electoral reforms and decriminalization of politics via candidate declaration of assets and disclosure of criminal records and with achieving 80GG deductions for political party contributions, creating an incentive for the flow of clean money into politics.
The party takes a liberal economic view, championing foreign direct investment in retail, free market policies for the agricultural sector, and, in general, a pro-business climate that leads to the creation of opportunities. The recent passage of the Gram Nyayalaya Bill and Citizen Services Guarantee Bill is a matter of pride for the party, having authored the bills and lobbied, influenced and convinced the government to pass them. Judicial and legislative reforms, along with transparency of governance, are high on our agenda.
The aims and objectives of Loksatta Party are:
- To establish a new political culture that places the citizen at the centre of governance;
- To protect the unity and integrity of India at all times and create a secular and just republic in which the citizen is the true sovereign;
- To nurture, protect and promote the constitutional values of liberty, justice and equality for all;
- To create a political, economic and social environment that ensures equal opportunities for vertical mobility to all sections of society, irrespective of caste, ethnicity, religion, or gender;
- To eliminate all forms of discrimination by birth and guarantee dignity and opportunity to every citizen irrespective of origin and status; and to promote social equality and justice and fully integrate all disadvantaged sections, including dalits, adivasis, and socially and economically backward classes;
- To ensure that every child, irrespective of origin and socio-economic position, has reasonable access to quality education which provides an opportunity to fulfil her true potential;
- To build a viable and effective health-care system that reaches every man, woman and child and guarantees good health to all irrespective of birth or economic status;
- To promote and implement policies aimed at rejuvenating agriculture, increasing rural incomes and improving the quality of life;
- To ensure that every young person acquires adequate knowledge and skills to make her a productive partner in wealth creation, thereby promoting gainful employment and economic opportunities;
- To ensure that every family, rural or urban, gets access to basic amenities of life, including housing, sanitation, transport and the opportunity to earn a decent livelihood;
- To provide social security to the vast section of underpaid, dispossessed and unorganised sector workers;
- To empower women and provide opportunities for their economic, social and political advancement;
- To promote public awareness about the democratic functioning of all institutions of governance and encourage reasoned debate and healthy public discourse;
- To establish a people-centric democratic polity based on liberty, self-governance, empowerment of citizens, rule of law, and self-correcting institutional mechanisms;
- To work for fundamental political, electoral and governance reforms listed below:
- Effective separation of the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary at all levels with appropriate checks and balances;
- Truly democratic, representative and transparent elections;
- Facilitation and promotion of the participation of men and women of integrity in the political process and curbing electoral malpractices;
- Effective empowerment of local governments at all levels in all respects as participative tiers of constitutional, democratic governance with their own legislature and executive, in a manner that authority and accountability fuse, and the link between the citizen’s vote and public good and the payer’s taxes and services is fully established;
- Speedy, accessible, effective and affordable justice at all levels to all citizens, irrespective of means and station at birth;
- Insulation of crime investigation from the vagaries of partisan politics and making the police effective, citizen-friendly, accountable and just in all respects;
- Combating of corruption and bad governance through an institutional framework that enhances transparency and accountability at all levels of administration.