31st December 2010
Lok Satta preparing for 2014
I came across this post in Greatandhra.com yesterday and thought I'd share my thoughts with you.
The post indicates that Lok Satta (LS) has started preparing for 2014 and believes that the current national political crisis in the Congress (and in Andhra, with Jagan Mohan Reddy's resignation from Congress), and the other parties opens up an opportunity for it. That is indeed true. Such opportunity has existed for a national liberal party that offers good governance to India since 1950, but not many have availed of it yet! Except briefly, the Swatantra Party. The main gap has been the lack of vision and preparation.
Shortage of leaders, not organisational weakness
The post suggests that LS sees organisational weakness as its key gap , but I'd like to suggest that shortage of good leaders is its main gap. Without good leaders it is going to be impossible to organise a successful grassroots movement. LS must focus almost entirely on leadership at this stage. That it can do (and is doing to some extent) by working closely with FTI. It needs to publicise FTI as a sister platform and persuade FTI members to join it.
LS should blacklist key national parties
JP has reportedly said that "The LSP does not view any party as untouchable". That, in my view, is a dangerous statement to make! The main national parties are untouchable and should be blacklisted. There should be no possibility of LS aligning with either Congress or BJP. If ever it does that then its credibility will be lost. No FTI member will associate with LS in that case.
Jago Party and Professionals Party of India should merge with Lok Satta
Now a related but separate comment. A few days ago I had suggested that the smaller formations should merge with Lok Satta. I did some research today and found this:
The Freedom Team of India has 110,000 mentions on the internet (on google). The Professsionals Party finds 33,700 mentions, while Jago Party – with hugely more investment of money – has only 19,600 mentions on the internet. Lok Satta Party has well over a million mentions if we include its various alternative keywords.
Clearly, Lok Satta Party has established at least some name recognition by now. In my view the Professionals Party of India is not a liberal party – with its policies leaving much to be desired. Jago Party has liberal credentials but its leadership is extremely limited in numbers and scope and does not appeal across India. Regardless, if these parties are serious about reforms of governance across India, they should IMMEDIATELY merge with Lok Satta.
That will give everyone a greater chance of succeeding in 2014. This still wont' be enough but it is totally futile to operate tiny formations that have so far made ZERO impact on the voter after a number of years.
The time has come for good leaders to unite and offer India a truly liberal national political party. The homework for such an exercise, however, has not been undertaken with too many disparate little movements across India. That won't work. Let's be VERY CLEAR about this. The voter wants a SERIOUS alternative, not a haphazard bunch of people who can't work together and don't agree on what needs to be done. The voter is not an idiot. Those who think that voters are idiots are the biggest idiots themselves.
That is why FTI is so crucially important for India – to do this homework and help form a coherent national political formation. Even if the smaller political party leaders don't feel comfortable in merging with LS, they can join FTI to join in the discussion towards a national political alternative.