Hyderabad: Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today demanded a comprehensive and in-depth investigation into all allocations of land and other natural resources since the days of economic liberalization beginning 1994-95 if there is prima facie evidence of harm to public interest.
Addressing a media conference, Dr. JP said the inquiry should not be targeted against any individuals or parties or limited to a certain period. The inquiry should not be turned into a political game to score points against opponents.
Dr. JP referred to main political parties subtly defending corruption by alleging their opponents were more corrupt and said that whoever indulged in corruption should be punished.
Dr. JP pleaded guilty to Mr. Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy’s charge that was given to plunging into waters without knowing their depth. He learnt only belatedly that most political parties survived only by looting hundreds of crores of rupees and spending it to buy votes in elections. Politics, according to him, meant service to people, eradication of poverty and ensuring a bright future for the youth. He did not want to be sucked into the vortex of corruption in which most parties find themselves.
Dr. JP said that Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy’s contention that groups, which remained silent as along his father served as Chief Minister, had turned strident on corruption after his demise was valid. Political parties should explain their ambivalent attitude towards corruption.
Dr. JP said that political corruption should not be equated with corruption in the private sector. If a company evaded taxes or fudged accounts, the concerned losers like share holders and the Government would take action. Political corruption, in contrast, harmed every citizen.
Dr. JP wished that the country faced political instability warranting elections year after year and witnessed politicians renouncing politics unable to spend crores of rupees to get elected.
He appealed to youth to take the initiative for ending the present political crisis since it involved their future. There should be zero tolerance for corruption.
Replying to a question, he said that if there is prima facie evidence of the State Government colluding with Reliance in the allocation of blocks in the Krishna-Godavari basin, the Lok Satta would demand an inquiry. However, his information was that the Government of India allotted the blocks based on competitive bidding.
Replying to another question, he said the Lok Satta Party had published its income and expenditure on its website.
On the MLAs adopting a resolution sanctioning higher salaries for themselves, Dr. JP said it was not proper. Any hike in salaries should be based on the recommendations of an independent commission. In the U. S. only the prospective president would get the benefit of a hike in salary the incumbent President effects. (NSS)