May 8, 2013
Lok Satta’s Karnataka performance is not to be lightly brushed aside
Although I was persistent in requesting JP to join politics (I had wanted him to join Swatantra Bharat Party in 2004 but he didn't want to join politics at that time), since about 2006 I have been against the idea of any new party (including Lok Satta) contesting elections without adequate preparation.
Instead, I have been advocating FTI as a platform for people to assemble together, sort out their differences, then start ground work, and finally, when resources and people are ready, to contest elections.
No doubt LS's performance in Karnataka is a failure as far as the total votes polled is concerned. The following (from FB) is the voting performance of LS:
Around 57000 votes for 24 candidates
Some of these are really poor results, but three have done tolerably well. 12K votes for Ashwin is no mean matter, particularly with the extremely limited resources available to LS.
This does reaffirm my belief that contesting elections without proper preparation is a recipe for disaster (and wasted funds). However, I'm extremely heartened by the fact that LS has done reasonably well in Bangalore.
No doubt LS supporters are disappointed, but this performance is a truly positive sign – that voters are willing to part with at least part of their votes for an entirely untested "good" group of people.
So what next?
I believe LS has shown the promise of change. The Indian voter wants change but is unwilling to take a risk. He/she needs assurance that the new group is SERIOUSLY capable, and has hundreds of outstanding leaders.
LS's efforts in Andhra and Karataka have been good but have also shown the limitations of "good" people working on their own. On its own, LS can only do so much.
In addition to LS there are many other smallish groups across India, as well. Each one of these, before elections, thinks it can achieve wonders and is unwilling to MERGE with others.
But that strategy must now come to an end.
This is the time to consolidate.
I know that no one from LS will want to "merge" with any other group. The same applies to any other small group. Each has put in a lot of effort to get to the point they are in. But this is NOT about them. It is about India's future.
STEP 1) To facilitate the first baby steps towareds a merger FTI has created the Sone Ki Chidiya Federation.
Let all these small groups URGENTLY come together by joining (for free) the SKC Federation.
That will be the first baby step.
STEP 2) Then let them agree to the vision and agenda for change. They should jointly prepare it so they own these documents. Then let them agree to policies.
STEP 3) Next, when FULLY ready, let them join the Sone Ki Chidiya Party (to be created by FTI in the coming days).
FTI is not going to to activate this party is unless a LOT OF PEOPLE AND ORGANISATIONS MERGE into it.
This is going to be registered in the coming weeks as a STANDBY party. I don't see any value in SKC party becoming active (contesting seats) UNLESS hundreds of Lok Sattas have merged into it, and lakhs of ordinary members have joined. We must succeed in winning 100+ parliamentary seats in our first attempt, or not waste our time.
So let us consolidate. At least let us try to do so.
I know there will be a lot of bruised egos in this process, and issues about "who becomes President", etc. These can be resolved IF THERE IS A WILL.
If people in LS (or other smallish parties) are in politics for themselves, then I say to them – please stay away and fight your losing fight. You are destined for ever to lose, if you go alone. May you realise it sooner than later.
But if you are in the business of politics for INDIA'S SAKE, then you will be willing to merge.
I'm not asking ANYONE to merge UNLESS ALL OTHERS AGREE.
In other words, please retain your independent identity on SKC Federation. That's a place where you can work together, work out agreements, and when you are ready, you can MERGE.
If you don't merge you are ultimately betraying India – and yourself as well. That's all I can say.
India needs those who have a vision for a great India and are willing to do ANYTHING (except lose their integrity) for that goal.
So please start by joining the Federation. Then work out whether you agree to the Agenda for Change. Then finally, when you are ready, please MERGE.
I continue my promise of NOT returning to India on a full time basis unless we can work out a way to offer a REAL AND SERIOUS political challenge to India's rotten governance system.