JAN CHETNA YATRA
For Good Governance and Clean Politics
About the Yatra
Veteran leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party and former Dy. Prime Minister, Shri Lal Krishna Advani once again is all set to embark on a nationwide Yatra from coming 11th October (Tuesday). The purpose of “Jan Chetna Yatra" is to mobilise public opinion against corruption of present government and put BJP agenda of good governance and clean politics before the people. The Yatra will commence on Loknayak Jayprakash Narayan's birth anniversary and from his birth place Sitab Diara (Bihar). It is worth mentioning that Loknayak Jayprakash Narayan had launched a nationwide agitation against corruption of the then Congress government and had given a call for "Total Revolution". Hence, starting of this Yatra against corruption could not be a better and suitable coincidence then this. It is also a happy coincidence that Maharishi Valmiki's birth anniversary also fells on this day. Coincidently, this day also happens to be the birth anniversary of two great leaders of the Jan Sangh and Bharatiya Janata Party, Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia and Nanaji Deshmukh. Needless to tell that amongst persons playing role in anti-corruption agitation with Jayprakash Narayan, Nanaji Deshmukh had stood by the side of Jayprakash Narayan and had faced lathies targeted for him.
Today the country is reeling under the onslaught of corruption of Congress-UPA Government. Ministers of Dr. Manmohan Singh government are behind the bars in 2G spectrum scam, CWG scam, Adarsh housing society scam, ISRO-Devas scam. Congress Party is making all out efforts to save remaining corrupt ministers. The roots of corruption have now reached top leadership of Congress and Prime Minister Office. The sin committed by UPA to get majority in 2008 by resorting to horse trading of MPs has now exposed before the country. Congress along with its allies has made politics a business of looting country's exchequer. Because of all these factors, the country is today facing multi-dimensional crisis. This crisis is the crisis of identity, crisis of faith, crisis of administration, crisis of leadership.
BJP leader Shri Lal Krishna Advani is going on a nationwide Yatra in order to highlight a sort of lack of faith and concern being cropped up among Indians in politics and towards the country as a result thereof.
This Yatra will not only highlight the voice of protest, but will place the agenda of good-governance and clean politics before the countrymen and will attempt to put an end to the decline that has come in Indian politics, for which Bharatiya Janata Party is active in politics. If in the year 1973 Loknayak Jayprakaash Naryan had given the slogan of "Total Revolution", then through this Yatra Bharatiya Janata Party is engaged in creating “Jan Chetna” (Public awareness) for comprehensive reforms in democracy. We believe that after removing various flaws and shortcomings cropped up in politics, it can be interlinked with the welfare of people as well as welfare of the country.
Obviously, this campaign can be led by a personality, who is spotless, clean and impeccable. We are proud that there is no dearth of such leaders in our party and fortunately such a mature, experienced and spotless personality does exit in the form of Shri Lal Krishna Advani. Being active in public life for the last seven decades even the opponents of Shri Advaniji dare not raise a finger on his integrity and impeccability. His contribution in establishing good governance and clean politics has been unparallel. On the one hand he along with his other colleagues introduced ‘Aajiwan Sahoyog Nidhi’ for obtaining open donations from party members and well wishers for meeting party and election expenses, on the other hand when the then Congress Government named him in Hawala scandal in 1996, he had resigned from Parliament without any delay and had declared that he would come back into electoral politics till he is proved not guilty.
84 year old Shri Lal Krishna Advani once again is going on about 40 days nationwide Jan Chetna Yatra. We believe that when under the madness of power government become arrogant and autocratic, then being a responsible opposition party has got only one alternative to go to the public. Bharatiya Janata Party is moving forward in this direction only. Yatra is a medium, not destination. Destination is eradication of corruption in the country and establishment of good governance and clean politics.
On the one hand this Yatra will also spread greater awareness about BJP’s track record, on the other it will attempt at initiating a debate on ways and means of achieving Good governance and clean politics. In the process it will emphasise on a three-pronged approach, Rule Of Law, Transparency in Administration and greater emphasis on People’s Participation. Manifestos of the BJP for the last two Lok Sabha elections and several assembly elections are a testimony to the variety of schemes, programmes and projects outlines by the Party towards bringing in good governance and ensuring a cleaner politics.
Clean Politics: BJP’s Track record
Thanks to the all-pervading cynicism, an atmosphere is created that no political party has any real answers to the key issues of sullied politics and bad governance. This is a convenient canard. Left unchecked, these tendencies are bound to add to popular frustration. Hence, BJP will educate the masses about its own contribution in cleansing the politics. Some of the salient features of BJP’s efforts are as follows-
a. Aajeevan and Vishesh Sahayog Nidhi: - BJP is the first and the only political party that decided to set up a corpus fund for the purpose of reserve funds for election campaigns. This fund was set up in 1993. This Nidhi is a scheme for one-time sumptuous contributions for the party coffers to be collected by cheques from party well wishers.
b. Constitution Reforms introduced during the NDA rule: - Two important reforms mainly to curb corrupt practices were
Introduced during the NDA rule. By the Ninety-First Amendment introduced in 2003, the number of cabinet births was limited to just 15% of the total number of legislators; preventing horse trading in the event of a regime change after cross-over of legislators.
Again, in April 2003 a Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill 2003 to replace the secret ballot system with an open ballot in the elections to the Rajya Sabha was passed by the parliament under the NDA rule.
C. Open Donation to Political Parties – Again under the NDA rule, companies, other than those owned by the government, became eligible to make donations to political parties under the proposed bill on state funding of elections. The elections and other related laws (amendment) bill 2003, aimed at eliminating the influence of money power and black money support in elections to parliament and state assemblies was passed for this purpose. The representation of the people act 1951 was suitably amended to allow companies, subject to the companies’ act, to make donations to political parties.
D. Measures taken recently by the Party to improve upon the Political Culture-
1. Greater emphasis on Training for mindset changing. Over 16ooo have already undergone training. A three-tier training programme has been introduced.
2. Starting of the Antyodaya Programme for motivational correction in party workers
3. Starting the Good Governance Cell for introducing measures for clean and efficient administration
4. Emphasis on Greater Usage of InfoTech for Greater Transparency and Accountability in Government
Good Governance: BJP’s Track record
E. Measures taken by various BJP Governments
1. Madhya Pradesh and Bihar recently introduced two identical legislations namely Lok Sewa Guarantee Act and Special Courts Act for speedy and transparent delivery of public services and greater amount of deterrence for public servants with a view to preventing amassing illicit wealth.
2. Karnataka has introduced an act making e-tendering/ procurement mandatory. Jharkhand also has introduced these measures.
3. Chhattisgarh has introduced all necessary measures for transparency and accountability in PDS and Rice Procurement systems, very successfully.
4. Gujarat too has introduced a number of measures in Public Health, Education, Forest and Revenue departments for ensuring greater transparency and accountability in administration.
5. From Manohar Parrikar of Goa to Narendra Modi, Shivrajsingh Chauhan, Dr. Raman Singh, P K Dhumal, Shanta Kumar and Vasundhara Raje several former and present BJP Chief Ministers have won Best Chief Minister’s Award and similar such honours by news channels, independent foundations and even some central government agencies.
Reforms for a Resurgent India
The Jan Chetana Yatra will also focus on the need to educate the masses about the details of the monumental corruption scandals of the Congress government at the centre going beyond the rhetoric of media headlines.
The Yatra will also address the wider issues of reforming the entire system.
An important role of the Yatra will be to initiate a debate in the society on reforms in four significant sectors:
Along with public meetings during the Yatra, the party also plans to organize joint meetings with various social and voluntary organizations. Also, interactions with cyber-activists, RTI activists fighting against corruption may also be organised.
All the elected representatives of the BJP will be asked to hold meetings at different places during the Yatra.