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The Mother India

  A Home page to achieve Electoral reforms, true democracy & citizens sovereignty in India

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From: Lok Satta
To: Tirumala Srinivas
Sent: Sunday, June 30, 2002 12:19 AM


Dear Friends

This is a moment to savour. In the long and arduous journey for democratic reforms, there will be very few moments of genuine satisfaction and joy. Let us all warmly congratulate the EC for its outstanding work in keeping with its highest traditions and impeccable record. We could not have asked for more. May I appeal to all friends to send messages of support to the EC and the media?.

However significant this victory is, this is still a small step in the long and arduous struggle for comprehensive electoral reforms. The political class will not watch passively if reforms such as this get implemented. We should therefore keep a close watch on the response of parties and government, and work overtime to neutralize motivated efforts to dilute the impact of the Supreme Court judgment and EC’s orders.

And we should keep up the momentum built over the past few weeks by quickly carrying forward the rest of the electoral reforms agenda. There are many worthy goals of reform. But let me put forward three simple, relatively easy, and practicable goals for your consideration in the first phase:
Improving and making accessible the process of voter registration by making post offices as the nodal agency. The enclosed letter addressed to Sri Bhattacharya, the Member (operations), P & T Board is self-explanatory.
Obtaining the political party accounts furnished to the Election Commission, and making them public in order to bring pressure for effective regulation of parties to ensure conformity with minimum democratic standards of behaviour. The letter addressed to EC in November 2001 is enclosed for your perusal.
Enactment of an effective and enforceable political funding reform law. The outlines of the proposals are enclosed.
There are other, more far-reaching reforms required to reduce the incentive to spend large amounts of unaccounted money in elections and to check the opportunities for unbridled corruption. But these are more complicated and contentious, and can be attempted in the next phase. Meanwhile, as we pursue the easier and more acceptable reforms, we can continue the dialogue on the other, more complex, issues.

The last few weeks saw the emergence of an incipient platform for electoral reforms. It appears to me that it would be best if we continued the dialogue and sustained the momentum. For this purpose, a detailed meeting is proposed at CMS (CENTRE FOR MEDIA STUDIES, RESEARCH HOUSE, COMMUNITY CENTRE, SAKET, NEW DELHI - 110 017; 6851660, 6864020, 6522244/55, 6856429; Fax. 011-6968282; E-mail : nbraocms@vsnl.com) in New Delhi on 9th July at 5 PM. 9th July has two advantages – we have time to reflect and evolve a clear set of goals, and evolve a strategy; the all-party meeting convened by the government is scheduled on 8th July, and we will have the benefit of their views to take stock of the situation.

It would be presumptuous to attempt to thank all those who made this possible – first, this is the nation’s task, and nobody owns it; and second, there are too many whose leadership, guidance and counsel have been invaluable.

Please find enclosed the following documents:

A press note Lok Satta issued today (29th June)
The letter addressed to Election Commission on 25th June.(The report which appeared in the Indian Express is somewhat distorted. It would be best if all of us mastered the facts and arguments, and reach the media wherever we can to project the correct picture and pout things in perspective).
The findings of the Supreme Court giving the rationale for its judgment.
The operative portion of the judgment.
The letter to Sri S.B. Bhattacharya, Member, Postal Services Board on post offices as nodal agencies – with enclosures.
The letter to EC on political party accounts.
The proposals for political funding reform.
May I request friends to kindly participate in the meeting on 9th July at 5 PM at CMS office.Kindly confirm your participation to Dr. Bhaskara Rao at nbraocms@vsnl.com

With warm regards

Jayaprakash Narayan
National Coordinator
Lok Satta Movement


Lok Satta
401/408 Nirmal Towers
Dwarakapuri Colony, Punjagutta
Hyderabad - 500 082
Tel: 040 3350778/3350790
Fax: 040 3350783
E-mail: loksatta@satyam.net.in
url: www.loksatta.org

 

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