Dr Jayaprakash Narayan, Convener of the Surajya Movement Steering Committee and national President of the Lok Satta Party, will observe hunger-strike for three days from December 5 with a view to awakening and mobilizing people on three demands the fulfillment of which will transform their lives to some extent.
The demands are institution of a strong and independent Lokayukta, enactment of a law to guarantee basic services to people and devolution of 10 percent of the State budget on village panchayats and municipal wards or divisions. The Surajya Movement is focusing on two other issues: comprehensive reforms to ensure quality education and healthcare to all and replacement of the first-past-the post electoral system by proportional representation.
Addressing a media conference here on Tuesday, Dr JP and other members of the Steering Committee said they would meet Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on November 29 and request him to act on the demands which do not cost the exchequer an extra rupee.
Dr JP said that since the launch of the Surajya Movement on August 9, workshops and round-table conferences have been held in over 90 towns. The non-partisan movement has attracted leaders from all parties and caught the imagination of thousands of youth and students.
The Lok Satta leader said that in the next phase of the movement, the Steering Committee will strive to train up to one lakh youth on what needs to be done to transform the nature of the polity. The movement aims at showing a way out to vast sections of people who are mired in gloom over the state of politics in the country, he said.
Ch Rajeswara Rao, freedom fighter, said that the response to the movement was more than expected. The need of the hour is collective effort and not mutual bickering on the basic demands. Prof K Nageswar, MLC, said that the Surajya Movement demands should be conceded since no political party is opposed to them.
K Madhava Rao, former Chief Secretary and Chief Electoral Officer, said that there is no point in being silent spectators to the irregularities in the present system. The civil society has, therefore, taken the initiative to remedy the situation. K Ramachandra Murthy, Chief Editor of HMTV and The Hans India, underlined the need for regulatory authorities for education and healthcare sectors.
Solipeta Ramachandra Reddy regretted that the State Government continues to neglect local governments. Chelikani V Rao said the Steering Committee has members with immense credibility to pursue the Surajya cause.
D Somasundar, President, AP Union of Working Journalists, pledged journalists’ support to the movement. TL Narasimha Rao of the Lok Satta movement spoke on the urgency of the demands.