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Inaugural Issue of Jana suddi, The Aam Aadmi Party Karnataka Newsletter by E DITORIAL TEAM On the 66th anniversary of India’s independence we launch our newsletter "Jana Suddi". Independence day Greetings to the Aam Aadmi Family. This newsletter is a humble effort from the AAP Karnataka team to communicate with our volunteers, donors and supporters about the various activities taking place in the AAP ecosystem. This newsletter will follow a monthly format and cover updates from teams across Karnataka, official position on the issues of the day, thoughts of AAP volunteers,supporters and donors. In case you are interested in contributing to a future issue please send your articles, cartoons, photos to aapk-editors@googlegroups.com AAP Launched Karnataka Unit by S OWMYAA The solution to bad politics is ˘ IJno politicgood politics and not âA ˘ ˙ sâAI. AAP-KA has been working in Karnataka through several campaigns in the last few months such as "My vote is not for sale" during the recent Karnataka MLA elections; membership drives, Uttarakhand Flood relief drives etc. It has agitated against the resignation of an honest BBMP officer– Sri Devaraj, against the RTI amendment sought by Parliament and many such events focusing on anti-corruption. Newletter from aapkarnataka.org aapkarnataka.org 08095435393 Although functioning since the launch of the party, AAP Karnataka, was officially launched on 27th of July by Arvind Kejriwal. The launch took place on the grounds of the New Horizon school in Indira Nagar. The school graciously allowed us to use their grounds despite AAP being a political party because of the values of the party. Thousands of people gathered from all parts of Karnataka to be a part of this epic journey. As songs and slogans hit the air, the excitement was palpable. People gathered at the venue at 3 in the afternoon and for two hours the ground was charged with an energy that could be felt and heard throughout the area. What was unique in the gathering was the cross section of people who had come: professionals, students, housewives, retired seniors, farmers, —their zeal, josh and excitement at being part of the change in India created a sense of unity that crossed all barriers of age, gender, caste or religion. AAP Karnataka team is blessed to have senior freedom fighters and activists as our advisors. Dr H S Doraiswamy: Freedom fighter, Gandhian, Nonagenarian, Quit India, JP Movement, wields immense moral authority on ANY government in Karnataka, even today his written info@aapkarnataka.org Page 1 word can keep corruption at bay. Dr. V Balasubramaniam: Retd IAS, Former Chairman of the Task Force for Recovery of Public Land and its Protection. Recently "honored" by the state assembly when members cutting across party lines initiated a breach of privilege motion against him for having the courage to call a spade a spade. S R Hiremath: Noted Anti Mining Activist, environmentalist, Grassroots democracy advocate. A one man army responsible for sending a sitting CM and other ministers to jail in the mining scam. Dr. R Balasubramaniam: Founder, Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM), advisor to World Bank, UNAIDS, fellow, Harvard University, Frank Rhodes Professor, Cornell University. Raghavendra Kushtagi: Eminent electoral reforms/natural resources expert, Founder Jan Sangram Parishad Harish Narasappa: Founder Daksh, which works on developing accountability structures for elected representatives and governmental organization, active with ADR. Member, Bangalore Political Action Committee. Dr JS Patil: Vice-Chancellor, Karnataka State Law University, Expert on Gram Swaraj and an eminent public speaker Dr. Wooday P. Krishna: Represents a rare blend of a technologist, educationist, social activist and humanist, who is a Consulting Engineer by profession. He has been instrumental in streamlining the Indian Red Cross Society and his expertise in Disaster Management is an asset in the unlikely event of any humanitarian crisis situation. Newletter from aapkarnataka.org aapkarnataka.org 08095435393 With the arrival of Arvind Kejriwal the school ground reverber˘Ÿvande matharamâA ˘Z ´, ated with âA ˘Ÿinqilab zindabadâA ˘Z ˘ŸAAP ´ , âA âA ˘Z ˘ŸArvind Kejri´ , âA zindabaadâA ˘Z ´ . Arvind was welwal zindabadâA ˘Z ´ s tradicomed with KarnatakaâA ˘ŸDollu kunithaâA ˘Z ´. tional dance, âA Speaking in Hindi Arvind explained why the Aam Aadmi Party was ˘ IJWe asked for the Jan started, âA Lok Pal Bill to be passed and they asked who are you? You do not represent anyone. And so we took the ˘˙ challenge.âA I He was effusive in his praise of the work done by AAPKarnataka. The Kannada version of his book Swaraj written was released on this occasion and autographed copies were auctioned. AAP members from Tamil Nadu and Kerala were also present to join the inauguration of the AAP Karnataka state unit. In answer to Arvinds appeal for funds to fight the Delhi elections, several school kids came onto the dias with their piggy boxes to donate to AAP. A 7th standard girl took the mike and said to Arvind Kejriwal ˘ IJI did not know who the freedom âA fighters were, or about their struggle, as I was not born then, but now see˘˙ ing you and AAP I knowâA I. It was a thought echoed by many there in the ground. It always rains in July in Bangalore, –yet the skies were clear right through the event and then it poured heavily just after Arvind Kejriwal stepped down from the dias. Almost at the same time, a beautiful rainbow suddenly shone overhead – as if the Gods were sending their blessings!!!! It was a memorable day for all who were there : young, old, urban people, rural people, irrespective of caste, religion, education and gender. Last but not the least around 200 volunteers strived hard to make this event a great success. info@aapkarnataka.org Page 2 hunger, lack of basic amenities to millions . . . are seen only in the repreby S IDDHARTH S HARMA sentative democracies. Empirical evidence suggest that these banes are absent in participatory democracies. The entire current structure of India, by omission or commission is a fusion of exploitative conspiracy against the polite, the poor, the proletariat, and the common citizen hatched by criminals, capitalists, inThe term Democracy originates tellectuals and politicians. We too are from the Greek word d¯ emokratia. It either overt or covert facilitators in means "rule of the people" and not fortifying this status-quo. A cerebral "rule by representatives" as generally deliberation is essential to break this perceived. The definition implies that status-quo. ˘ŸSocietyâA ˘Z ˘Ÿ´ is supreme, âA democracy is a system far above indiâA ˘Z ˘ŸstateâA ˘Z ´ its organ, âA ´ an viduals; in fact it is collective in na- nationâA ˘ŸreligionâA ˘Z ´ its guide. The ture. And the keyword for any collec- aid and âA tive exercise is participation. In an- root of all contemporary problems is ˘Z ´ s time, the intense competition by the nation, cient India, during BuddhaâA such village republics existed aplenty the state and religion to assert themwhere periodic local meetings took selves and marginalize the society. place in which all people of a locality took policy decisions. Thereafter, India went through nearly a millen- Government And The People nium of slavery by various foreign Power and authority have become the civilizations until it gained indepen- instruments for exploiting and opdence in 1947. pressing the people instead of removIn this interim period, world over ing their hardships, the laws, rules, and especially in Europe and Amer- procedures and methods adopted by ica, renaissance happened resulting an alien and immoral power for its in liberal thoughts taking center own ends are not only being continstage. The impact of it was that in ued, but even further strengthened in such places democracies took root free and democratic India. The exand flourished. These democracies ploitation of the masses in collaborawere more or less akin to the ancient tion with national and multi-national Indian republics, i.e. they were par- vested interests is growing by the day. ticipatory in nature. Those who have got into the seats Even during the freedom struggle of power are trying to restrict and tall men like the Father of our Na- furthermore end whatever initiative tion Gandhiji fiercely advocated au- or freedom is available to the people ˘Ÿvillage republicsâA ˘Z ´ in in the pretext of framing ever newer tonomous âA ˘ his seminal book âAIJHind Swara- personal laws. The press and the ju˘˙ jâA I. Incidentally, India in 1947 diciary too are threatened of their inadopted the model of representa- dependence. Normal democratic protive democracy. This was understand- cesses are being short-circuited blaable because a dominion nation gain- tantly. The legislatures are becoming ing full-fledged participatory democ- arenas for testing political strength or racy in one leap was a tall or- have been turned into market places. der. The ill- effects of representa- Elections have become, without extive democracy are becoming glar- ceptions, degenerated into games of ingly obvious in India of the re- money, caste, brute force and empty cent past. Uncivilized tendencies like slogans. With the democratic process corruption, alarming crime increase, having thus been vitiated, political rapes, mal-governance, anarchy, ex- parties and elections are fast losing ploitation, huge economic disparity, the respect of the people. Swaraj Freedom should have meant a growth in the power and initiative of the people. Instead, there has been rapid erosion in these matters. ˘ŸPeopleâA ˘Z ´ are becoming progresâA ˘ŸStateâA ˘Z ´ sively weaker while the âA is becoming all powerful. Even our day to day affairs has come under the clutches of the government. The people, who are supposed to be masters in a democracy, have actually been reduced to the level of slaves. ADMINISTRATION, GOVER˘ IJA sysNANCE etc are termed as âA ˘˙ temâA I. A system is one in which: a) the society exercises its control over anti- social elements, and b) society functions smoothly. Sadly in In India, the state has declared itself to be the nation. In reality, nation is part of the society and state should merely act as a facilitator for the society. To usher in a systemic approach, the society formulates a concrete unit. This unit is called as the government or the state.The system belongs to the society. The state is only the implementing agent. The document that defines the maximum scope of interference, authority and duties of The state is called as the Constitution. Constitution and Laws are different. Constitution defines the maximum authority of the state and the minimum authority of the society, ˘Z ´s whereas laws define the societyâA ˘ ´ maximum and the stateâAZs minimum rights. The entity which is a balance of the executive, the legislature and the judiciary is called as The State/Government/System. In a democracy all the three complement each other in addition to providing checks and balances amongst themselves. In case this triad, instead of self balancing, begins accumulation of power and competing amongst each other, the system gets weakened. If this trend continues over a period of time, democracy’s credibility is eroded. In India, the three arms of the state are competing in the sphere of power accumulation. The job of the legislature is to guide the executive from within the perimeter of the constitution. The legislature, Newletter from aapkarnataka.org aapkarnataka.org 08095435393 info@aapkarnataka.org Page 3 under no circumstance can violate the borders framed by the constitution. The brief of the constitution is to control the legislature. Resultantly, the authority to amend the constitution cannot be vested in the legislature. This is a grave error. In India, the legislature has misused this error to further its agenda on innumerable occasions. One glaring example of the legislature going wild is the recent Durga Shakti Nagpal issue, where an executive was penalized just because she was doing the constitutional thing. The Executive arm of the Government is supposed to take care of the day-to-day affairs. No entity should be allowed to interfere in its works. ˘˙ Sadly in the CBI "caged parrotâA I issue as well as the Durga Shakti Nagpal issue, the legislature sees itself as ˘ IJbossâA ˘˙ the âA I of the executive. This anomaly can be changed only be local self governance, meaning to say that they be made directly responsible to the people rather than ˘Z ´ s representatives who have peopleâA their own vested interests. Newletter from aapkarnataka.org aapkarnataka.org 08095435393 info@aapkarnataka.org Page 4 Transparency in Politics, AAP's position on political parties and RTI by G UPTESHWAR A village/taluk level revolution started when the distribution of ration(daily necessary) goods were not distributed fairly and the villagers wanted to know how this ration was CIC’s Statement on Political Parties distributed, availability of stocks, arrival of stocks etc. Many NGOs and CIC had observed irregularities in social activists realized the need of the functionality of political parties transparency laws in India and agi- namely: tated for the same. This laid the foun• Large tracts of land in prime lodation stone to an act which ensures cations of Delhi were disposed transparency in public/private orgato the respondents for nominal nizations. prices, benefiting the political In 2002, the then NDA governparties. ment passed a "Freedom of Information Act,2002". The Freedom of Infor• Free air time in All India Radio mation act was replaced by the "Right was alloted to political parties To Information"(RTI) act in 2005 by during elections. the ruling UPA government which ap• Promises made by political plies to all states and union territories parties during elections were of Republic of India except Jammu not kept. The status of these and Kashmir which has a "Jammu promises was unknown. and Kashmir Information Act,2009". Article 19 (1)of constitution, un• Funds received as donations der which every citizen has freedom and the list of donors was not of speech and expression and has the clear/disclosed. right to know how the government • Choice of candidates and polworks, what role does it play, what icy making strategies are undisare its functions and so on. The Act closed or are mystical. confers right to the citizens to know as to how the taxpayers money is beThe Bench, comprising Chief Ining spent by the Government. formation Commissioner Satyananda RTI Act confers right to access Mishra and Information Commisto information held by a Public Ausioners Annapurna Dixit and M.L. thority. In case,you have been deSharma, held that the six political nied the access to information you ˘T ˇ the Congress(INC), the parties âA may file Appeal / Complaint beBharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the fore the Central Information ComCommunist Party of India (Marxmission (CIC) using the CIC Onist), or the CPI(M), the Communist line(http://rti.india.gov.in/). The list Party of India (CPI), the Nationalist of exempted organizations is here Congress Party (NCP) and the Bahu(http://rti.india.gov.in/exempted.php). ˘T ˇ had been jan Samaj Party (BSP)âA As per this act, a public authorsubstantially financed by the Central ity has to disclose the details of its government.(1 functional body, process of operation, Some major issues raised by pogrievance redress mechanism, hierlitical parties regarding RTIs compliarchy of employees, funds received, ance are: spent and available, etc. as defined in its article 4(A) • Disclosure of policy making. Under section 2(h)-(ii) of RTI act, e.g.: How BSP chooses to make 1 http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/cic-vs-parties/article4794591.ece 2 http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/1869227/column-myths-about-rti-and-political-parties the public authorities are those government and non government bodies which are "substantially financed" directly or indirectly by the funds of the Government. This brings all political parties which have received "support" from the government under the ambit of RTI. alliance in the next elections or what’s TRS’ strategy and road map for the formation of Telangana have to be disclosed. • Disclosure in Candidate Selection: e.g.:Selection of PM of India, Dr.Manmohan Singh, despite he not winning an election, for the PM candidature, selection of Mr.Pranab Mukherjee/Mrs.Pratibha Patil for Presidential candidature or nomination of Mrs.Sonia Gandhi as president of INC though she had not contested any election, etc. has to be answered under RTI. • Disclosure of Donors and Donations: eg: It was observed that some parties have not received even 10 donations in a year but have collected thousands of crores of rupees as party funds. These details have to be disclosed under RTI. A landmark statement was made by CIC on June 3 mandating compliance to the RTI Act by the above 6 political parties within 6 weeks. Political Outcry Political parties have been unanimous in criticizing the Central Infor˘Z ´ s (CIC) rulmation CommissionâA ing. BJP though welcomed the hearing initially had changed its track. CPI, as observed by CIC, has taken contradictory positions. Its general secretary S. Sudhakar Reddy claimed in a letter to the CIC that political parties did not come under the ambit of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, whereas former general secretary A.B. Bardhan had stated in a letter to Bairwal(one of the complainants to CIC) that the CPI was a public authority under Section 2(h). Some myths being spread by political parties are 2 • CIC will become their second Boss- This is false because, just like any other public authority, Newletter from aapkarnataka.org aapkarnataka.org 08095435393 info@aapkarnataka.org Page 5 the political parties would be questioned by the public and not the CIC. The parties are answerable to the public as they are elected by them and are meant to serve them. • All kinds of trivial questions shall be asked delaying their operation and functionality It is a pity that the UPA government which designed and presented this bill is now making such allegations. Now it must be asked that did UPA government prepared such trivial and timekilling bill? • Political parties brief their financial assets to IT department and these details can be had from the IT departmentthis is not true as the ITD itself had filed RTI to the parties to get the details of assets processed by the parties and the parties have accounted for only 20 The political parties, with the exception of the CPI, have refused to give away information, claiming that they do not come under the RTI Act. The commission then directed the presidents and general secretaries of the six political parties to designate CPIOs and the Appellate Authorities ˘Z ´ at their headquarters in six weeksâA ˘ IJThe CPIOs so appointed time. âA will respond to the RTI applications extracted in this order in four week˘Z ˘˙ ´ time.âA sâA I The CIC also directed the political parties to comply with the provisions of mandatory proactive disclosure by putting those details on their websites. While rejecting the arguments made by counsel of the political parties of their being out of the ambit of the RTI, the CIC referred to a Supreme Court judgment, which said ˘IJthe little man of this counthat âA try would have the basic elementary right to know full particulars of a candidate who is to represent him in Par- liament where laws to bind his liberty ˘˙ and property may be enacted.âA I ˘ IJThe people of India must âA know the source of expenditure incurred by political parties and by the candidates in the process of elec˘˙ tion,âA I the CIC concluded.3 The political parties, instead of challenging the CIC’s judgement in supreme court, are proposing to amend the article 2 of RTI act-2005. This questions the credibility of these parties. This news has created public outrage,people are calling up their representative and demanding clarification on their stand regarding RTI. (In case you have not called your MP yet, click here for his/her contact details. The National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI) has written to the presidents of six major political parties - Congress, BJP, CPI, CPM, NCP and BSP - asking them to seek public opinion before taking any decision on excluding political outfits from the Right to Information Act. On behalf of the NCPRI, the letter has been signed by activists Aruna Roy, Anjali Bhardwaj, Nikhil Dey, Shailesh Gandhi, Shekhar Singh, Harsh Mander, Venkatesh Nayak, Bhaskar Prabhu and Rakesh Dubbudu. 4 "The Election Commission takes initiatives from time to time to make the political system more transparent and accountable and we all participate in those consultations." –Sibal Jan Vani: We have seen during janlokpal movement the result of your consultations, should we say more? "CIC ruling will create a lot of harm and damage to democratic institutions" –Congress general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi Jan Vani: we dont think we share the same dictionary or maybe there is a missing "corrupting influences in" before "democratic institution" "There is a logic of RTI and this is reflected in its orders. The logic will be tested at various levels including by the courts. I think we should be overtly sensitive to the evolving nature of RTI but at the same time I think it is important to keep a practical control of RTI objectives because it cannot be allowed to run riot" –Salman Khurshid Jan Vani: In standard Khurshid style too many big words, rambling sentences, no substance. Instead of challenging the act in court the first action of the government was to amend the law. "Political parties, according to me, are Political Parties on RTI com- not government organisations. These pliance are private organisations. I will study We invite you to read between the lines to divine the true intent of our political class Statements from some of the political parties as reported by various media organization are here for reference: Indian National congress "Political parties are only voluntary associations of individuals" –Sibal Jan Vani: As per the RTI act, Irrespective of who you are, If you have received substantial funding from the government provisions of RTI act are applicable to you. the judgment and then be able to comment on it" –Salman Khurshid Jan Vani: And to think this guy was the law minister once upon a time. Please remember It does not matter who you are, the key word is "Substantial funding" "The government considers that the CIC has made a liberal interpretation of Section 2 (h) of the said (RTI) Act in its decision." – Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy Jan Vani: If that is really the case challenge it in the court. Why are you changing the law. 3 http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/political-parties-come-within-ambit-of-rti-act-cic/article4778358.ece?ref=relatedNews 4 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Seek-public-view-on-RTI-amendment-NCPRI-to-national-parties/articleshow/21804258.cms Newletter from aapkarnataka.org aapkarnataka.org 08095435393 info@aapkarnataka.org Page 6 "Declaring a political party as public authority under the RTI Act would hamper its smooth internal working...further, the political rivals may misuse the provisions of RTI Act, thereby adversely affecting the functioning of the political parties" –The RTI amendment bill proposed by congress Jan Vani: We would encourage disruption of your "smooth internal functioning" which has resulted in dynastic politics. We would derive immense satisfaction if your political rivals use the RTI act to keep you in check. We care for the nation, not you. brings transparency and accountability which is equally applicable to all. We will follow the law" –BJP spokesman Capt Abhimanyu. Jan Vani: Thanks, Are your colleagues in agreement with you? JD-U "No way justified... political parties are not shops..." –An astonishment and shock JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav Jan Vani: We are shocked and astonished that Sharad Yadav considers government departments as shops, Wonder what he buys in the courts, Loksabha and other fine democratic institutions. No wonder corruption is rampant in this country. "It is not practical to share resolutions of the parties, which are made in the executive committee meetings and also to share the process of selection of candidates for the party organisations" –JD(U) chief Yadav Jan Vani: Please check AAP’s Delhi election candidate selection process, it is an excellent example of a practical and fully transparent candidate selection process. center we will implement RTI in our party. AAP requests the political parties to challenge the CIC judgement in Supreme court if they are convinced that they are not "public bodies". It would spread a wrong message in the public if they amend Article 2 of RTI act instead of challenging it. AAP volunteers across the nation are organizing several protests against the UPA government’s move of amending RTI. BJP "This is an issue concerning the political parties and it will be in the purview of the Election Commission as well" – BJP leader Prakash Javadekar Jan Vani: BJP is no different from congress. First defense, muddy the situation. Did political parties say the same thing to the IT department when they were being audited? "We believe the Election Commission should give an opinion on this issue" – BJP leader Prakash Javadekar Jan Vani: Why? Tomorrow do you want the EC to comment even on the 2G, CWG and colgate scams? Can CPM I take a political party to court or "Cannot accept the CIC order that should that case be heard by the EC political parties are to be treated as too? "public authorities" and brought under the purview of the Right to Informa"We are not opposed to transparency tion Act." – CPM Statement but these rules will have to be fineJan Vani: Cannot accept that CPM tuned by the state government. We should continue as a political party.. would request the state to intervene and make the necessary changes in these rules" –BJP Maharashtra state chief Devendra Fadnavis Jan Vani: Did he just now say Aam Aadmi Party’s Stand on RTI "Sharad/Prithviraj Hume RTI se bachao"? Bottomline: BJP’s state- AAP whole heartedly welcomes the ment is the law is not acceptable judgement of CIC. Even though the to us someone please "fine tune" it CIC has not named AAP as a public until we find it acceptable. body under the RTI act, we are committed to transparency and irrespec"BJP is not against anything that tive of the amendments made by the Newletter from aapkarnataka.org aapkarnataka.org 08095435393 info@aapkarnataka.org Page 7 Jhadoo ka Jadu, Thoughts on the party symbol by P RITHVI The Indian constitution, does not talk about political parties, it only talks about elected representatives. Over a period of time however elections in India have become about political parties and not so much about candidates. In many cases voters elect a party without even knowing who the candidate is, leave alone voting based on the ability and track record of a concerned candidate. At times, political parties field independent candidates with the same name as powerful opponents, just to confuse voters and divide votes. Additionally, we still have, a considerable population in our country, who are illiterate and hence cannot read the names of parties or candidates on the Electronic Voting Machines. In the light of the above "Party symbols" play a large and important role during elections. The election commission of India has a list of available symbols from which a new party can choose its symbol from. AAP national executive met a few months ago and discussed the various symbols available. A list of 3 choices of symbols were submitted by AAP to the Election Commission and we were lucky that we were allotted a symbol which was our first choice. Symbol allotted to us is a broom or "Jhadoo". Aam Aadmi Party was formed after the efforts of millions of common citizens of this country who tried to pressurize the present day political parties to pass a strong "anticorruption" failed and it was realized that the only way to bring about the various changes and reforms reNewletter from aapkarnataka.org aapkarnataka.org 08095435393 quired for clean politics and good governance was to enter the political arena and carry out the "clean up" from inside. The symbol of "Jhadoo", therefore has a special relevance for our party as it reflects the mission of Aam Aadmi Party of "cleaning up the present day political system". On his second trip to India from South Africa, Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi attended the Congress session in Calcutta. He came to plead because of the illtreated Indians in South Africa. The sanitary condition of the Congress camp was horrible. Some delegates used the verandah in front of their room as latrines, others did not object to it. Gandhi reacted immediately. When he spoke to the volunteers, they said; " This is not our job, this is a sweeper’s job." Gandhi asked the broom and cleaned the filth. Taking inspiration from this incident and to demonstrate our commitment towards, Mahatma Gandhi’s saying "Be the change that you wish to see in the world.", Aam Aadmi Party has welcomed the allotted symbol of "Jhadoo". info@aapkarnataka.org Page 8 ticket? There will be no selling of the process in Delhi. ticket in AAP. The ticket will be given by S UMIT to the best suitable candidate only. AAP has an open process where there Think of a scenario. You have some great ideas to is no chance of internal settings. What are the steps? Anybody serve your country. To implement them, you have to come into poli- who is eligible to fight election can tics. And for that, you need to win apply for a ticket in AAP. The canelections. You need a ticket from a didate selection process starts with political party. Today political parties filling up a declaration form, which give you a ticket if and only if you is available on the party website. are capable of buying the ticket at In this form, candidate has to dethe price of crores and crores of ru- clare his details including his assets, pees. Then, you have to spend a lot cases, criminal charges (if any) etc. of unaccounted money in elections Along with the form, an applicant for various illegal activities. So finally, has to bring minimum 100 signawhen you win, you start covering up tures of voters from his constituency for your expenditures through bribes in his support. Now, the forms are or other similar means. Half of your submitted to a screening committerm is already over in covering this tee which after due screening of the expense. Now, for the rest of your forms, supporting documents and the term, you continue taking the bribe background checking will finally anso that you can buy the ticket again. nounce a short-list of 5 applicants The corruption starts from here. Now, from the constituency. This list will come out of this nightmare. You are a be made public. Now, there will be common person of this country and a waiting period of 15 days after the ˘Z ´ t spend that much money to announcement of the shortlist. canâA ˘Z ´ t spend the get a ticket. You canâA Why this waiting period of 15 money on illegal activities as you days? Now, this is a wonderful con˘Z ´ t have it. But, you are a good cept to get only the honest and true donâA person. You are popular for your so- candidate. This is a time where the cial work in your area. So what will public has its say. In these 15 days, happen? Can you think of fighting if anyone from the public has any elections? Can you think of winning kind of complaint against an applithe elections? Till date, the answer cant, he/she can submit it with proof was NO. But, now common man of to party office within this time pethis country has awakened. He has riod. If the complaint is found true, stood up against the corrupt people the applicant will be rejected from and their corrupt practices. All good the shortlist. people have come together to join What next after this wait petheir hands in the fight against cor- riod? Once the wait period is over, ruption. Today, we have Aam Aadmi there will be an internal election proParty, which is the result of a great cess by the active volunteers of the anti-corruption movement called as constituency. Active volunteers are ˘ŸJan Lokpal movementâA ˘Z ´ in the those who are working dedicatedly âA leadership of Sri Anna Hazare. From for the party and its goals from a the day one, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) minimum of 4 months. All the apstarted thinking for the solutions to plicants will be given an opporturemove the corrupt politicians from nity to have a common interaction the politics itself. The best practice with active volunteers and then pubwould have been to start experiments lically they will be asked few quesfrom the party itself. AAP gave it tions regarding their vision and other enough thought and then came up things. The voting will be in pref˘ŸSwarajâA ˘Z ´ method erential mode, where everyone has with a true âA for candidate selection. to vote all the applicants by listing What will be the cost to buy a them in a order of their preference AAP Candidate Selection (Highest to lowest). Once the voting is done, it will decide the candidate for the constituency. This kind of process has been never applied in ˘Z ´ s politics. This proour countryâA cess will ensure that only good people without any criminal background with the mass support are given the ticket. *AAP has declared that even after the ticket is given to a candidate and if someone comes with a proof against the candidate even a day before election, his ticket will be cancelled. This is excellent. This is the best possible way to find out a good candidate. I got the ticket. Can my son/daughter also get the ticket from other constituency? Today the politics has become a family business for corrupt politician. AAP has declared that two persons from the ˘Z ´ t get the ticket. same family wonâA They are free to do the volunteer work and serve the country in that way but tickets will not be given to more than one person in one family. Wow! This process will surely make Aam Aadmi powerful. When is AAP going to fight elections ˘Z ´ s first bat? AAP is having itâA tle against corruption starting from Delhi Assembly elections, expected to be scheduled in November first week. Till now, our 40 candidates out of 70 seats have been declared by this process. The rest seats are in process. All our candidates list is available to public through website. What about the finances to fight elections? AAP is fighting for the good of this country. AAP will spend only the legal limit for expenses in every constituency. As its candidates come from every walk of life, they will not be capable of spending that much amount. In Delhi, legal limit of election expenditure for a constituency is 14 Lakh Rupees. AAP will need around 10 Crore rupees for all 70 constituencies. textbfHow will AAP collect this money? AAP is your own party, ev˘Z ´ s party. For the ery common manâA good of country, it appeals you to Newletter from aapkarnataka.org aapkarnataka.org 08095435393 info@aapkarnataka.org Page 9 donate generously. Your small contribution will also make a big change. Also, AAP is very transparent in its donation policy. Even single rupee donated to the party is reflected in the website. Everyone would like to donate to such party which is honest, transparent and whose motives are so clear to not to keep the power with itself but to give back the power to the people of country through Swaraj. Newletter from aapkarnataka.org aapkarnataka.org 08095435393 info@aapkarnataka.org Page 10 Remembering Santosh by A NKIT LAL Santosh, a young rebal was martyred at the age of 28, She started her life as an activist at a young age of 18 years as one of the first employee of Arvind Kejriwal’s NGO Parivartan, For the past 10 years she has been at the forefront of the RTI movement, Swaraj, IAC Agitation and AAP. A popular leader in her constituency, she recently met with an accident(suspicious circumstances) and passed away after a prolonged stay in the hospital. Ankit lal an IAC and AAP activist from Delhi penned an eulogy to Santosh in his blog. We are reprinting is here with his permission Two days ago while I was traveling to Kaushambi office from C.P. office in metro I got a call from Vikas saying that Santosh is critical and they are going to Fortis, Gurgaon. At first I couldn’t believe him. Just a day ago Kiran had told me that Santosh was better and was responding very well to voice commands. But he said that Arvind had tweeted this and they were all on the way. In next five minutes I received more calls from Aniket and few others. Everyone was on way to Gurgaon. The first thought on my mind was to get down immediately and board the metro to Gurgaon. But I could not. I had some donation cheques which I had to give at Kaushambi office and I had already made the person wait for more than an hour. So I went to Kaushambi, gave it to Bipul da and caught the metro to Gurgaon. During the entire hour and a half journey flashes of incidents in past two and a half year kept crisscrossing my mind. I had met Santosh Newletter from aapkarnataka.org aapkarnataka.org 08095435393 for the first time at Jantar Mantar in April 2011. Even at that time she was known to be a firebrand activist with the strength to call a spade a spade. After April 2011 all of us worked for grass root mobilization and Santosh was the one who used to give us tips. She had far more knowledge about the ground scenario than any of us. While attending the weekly volunteer meetings of IAC she would narrate the experiences she had while fighting the rashan mafia. How she was attacked multiple times and how she made Sheila Dixit run away with her questions. Then in August 2011, when Anna was arrested, she along with most others was on ground mobilizing people while I along with 10 others was underground, away from all the action, acting as part of the IAC communication channel. One incident I specifically remember is of 21st August. Anna was into the 6th day of his fast and despite of public support across the country there was no communication from the government and Anna’s health had started to deteriorate. Anna spoke from the stage and said that if these politicians won’t listen to our demands then we’ll take the fight to their doorsteps. Within an hour I got a call from someone saying that about 40 volunteers were at 7, Race course road, PM Manmohan Singh’s residence. I went to Arvind, informed him and asked him if I could go. He said, "Go, but don’t get arrested." I left Ramlila ground and as I expected I found Santosh at the crossing of 7, RCR along with 40-50 others which included Arunimaï˙ z£, Rollyï˙ z£, Arunï˙ z£, Bhupendraï˙ z£ and many others. She was the one who had coordinated this effort and reached that far ditching the police. On seeing me she said, "Bhai, I’m going back to Ramlila ground to get more people, you be here." That day was the first time anyone protested in front of PM house in the history of India’s anti-corruption protest. All of us were detained and later released near Ramlila ground. The next day we went to then Finance Minsiter, Pranab Mukherjee’s house and next day to that to Chidambaram’s house in morning and Advani’s house in evening. Santosh and few others were regular feature in all those protests. In her own small way Santosh had made a difference. The places which were a strict no-no for protests started feeling susceptible and vulnerable. Even beefing up security measures and closing down metro stations had no effect. Yes, it was Santosh who was trigger to this change! In May 2012 when I and Prernaï˙ z£ decided to get married, Santosh was one of the first people I informed. On the day of my marriage after Arvind did Prerna’s kanyadaan she said to me, "Bhai I wish I have a marriage like yours." "Yours will be better," I replied. That day I didn’t know that fate had something else in store for her! Then in December Damini rape case happened. Few know that Santosh and her youth team, which includes but is not limited to Vandana, Hitashi, Vikas, Ankit Sharma, Sarita, Sanjeev, etc. was one of the first to reach Vijay Chowk and lead the protests. It’s her firebrand style of protest which has inspired people across India. Santosh was not someone who would be afraid of the police and their canes and tear gas. She was one who would take it all head on, even if she was alone. And she taught that to many, I apart from Arvind and many others are her disciples in that field. Then in April 2013 the candidate selection process for Delhi Assembly elections started. When the question of Seemapuri constituency cropped up many of us had only one name in mind, Santosh. But she was reluctant. She didn’t think she would be that good as a politician and wanted to continue the life of a rebel, a protester. But finally we were able to convince her and as expected. I still remember that evening at Swati and Neveen Jaihind’s house. It was a small get together and San- info@aapkarnataka.org Page 11 tosh said to Swati, "It’s very difficult. Earlier it was physical attacks but now they are trying to malign me. Saying that I charge people for their rashon." Swati consoled her, said, "Don’t worry, you are worthy that’s why you have been given ticket. You just do your work, that’s the best answer to them." Santosh continued with her campaign and then in 2nd week of June I got a call from Kumar bhai, asking where I was. I told him that I was at Kaushambi office to which he said. "Santosh is coming there. She has lost her phone and Arvind has asked me get a new phone. Come to me with her and then get her a mobile. I’ll give the cash to you and you get her a phone." Santosh came with Abid and we went to Kumar’s home in Aditya’s car. We sat for some time and then Kumar said, "I’m giving you the money, go and take a mobile. How much money should I give." "If you are coming along then it’s Ok otherwise I’m leaving," replied Santosh. Kumar accompanied us to the mobile shop and got a mobile for her. The mobile shop owner was himself surprised that Kumar came to take a mobile for someone. Kumar replied pointing towards Santosh, "She’s my MLA, who will I get a mobile for if not her?" We bought a Samsung mobile of Santosh’s choice and walked out of the shop. Then Kumar asked, "You could have taken this with Ankit, why did you call me?" Santosh didn’t answer straight forwardly which was against her nature. I was surprised as this is not how she was. I also insisted, "Yes, tell us, what’s the matter?" "Bhaiya the local MLA’s aides have threatening me," Santosh replied to Kumar. "Don’t worry, the most they can do is that they’ll not let you win, what else can they do?" Kumar replied. "No, they have said they will kill me," Santosh replied nonchalantly. We didn’t say anything and changed the topic and then left soonafter. Newletter from aapkarnataka.org aapkarnataka.org 08095435393 After almost two weeks she met with an accident while coming to Kaushambi office. Soon after she crossed into U.P., the bike she was traveling on was hit by a car from behind. Santosh sustained severe head injuries while the person driving the bike, Kuldeep, suffered injuries in his hands and one of his legs. She was brought to nearby Yashoda hospital by passers by and I being nearby reached within 10 minutes of the accident. Her situation was critical but the doctors Dr. Atul Gupta, Dr. Naresh Gupta and Dr. Vipin Mittal worked hard and made her survive. The golden hour, i.e. the first hour after the accident was utilized very effectively and she was operated within the first hour. This helped in Santosh’s immediate survival after the accident. After three days we shifted her to a bigger hospital for better care but finally after 37 days of struggle Santosh left us, leaving many questions unanswered. Santosh may have left us but many questions remain. Her dreams are still unfulfilled and it is now upon us to bring her dreams to reality. She may have left us but her memories will always be with us. info@aapkarnataka.org Page 12 AAPK Communication by M EDIA T EAM Each and every protest conducted by AAP has a clear set of demands. We publish below the letters written by AAP Karnataka to various governmental heads as a prequel to the protest. Protest against intimidation of Mr Devaraj, chief engineer and head technical vigilance cell under commissioner BBMP Background Facing intimidation from corporators involved in the Fake Bill Scam, and an uncertain support post retirement of the then BBMP Commissioner, Mr Deveraj decided to take voluntarily retirement rather than endanger his family. AAP Volunteers staged a demonstration outside the BBMP office in corporation circle expressing support for Mr Devaraj. The letter below was emailed to the chief minister before the protest took place and was hand delivered to the CM on getting his appointment. To, Siddaramaiah, The Hon. Chief Minister, Karnataka. Subject Resignation of Mr N. Devraj Chief engineer BBMP TVCC Dear Sir, We the citizens of Bangalore received with great joy your commitment of leading a honest government in Karnataka. A good super structure first and foremost requires a good foundation. We believe that honest bureaucrats are the foundation of an honest government. We hope that in your capacity as the chief minister and minister in-charge of the Bangalore city portfolio you will take steps to ensure that 1. Our city is blessed with good and honest administrators and 2. Honest administrators are given the space to execute their responsibility without interference or fear. Today we wish to bring to your attention the news reports about the resignation of Mr N. Devraj, Chief Engineer BBMP TVCC. We are shocked to learn that under your rule the city corporators have managed to create an extremely toxic environment for honest officers, who in fear for their life have decided to submit their resignation rather than continue in their current role. We request you to 1. Reject the resignation of Mr Devraj and request him to continue the good work done by him. 2. Take steps to ensure the safety of him and his family by providing adequate police protection. 3. Extend the term of the current BBMP commissioner who is known as an able administrator. 4. Take steps to constitute area sabhas as per the norms laid down in THE KARNATAKA MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2011 and select the next commissioner in consultation with the Area Sabha representatives. 5. Take steps to grant greater autonomy to TVCC (a) Make it a court monitored SIT for the short term (b) Move TVCC and other vigilance cells under the Lokayukta as a long term solution 6. Fast track the investigations currently in progress at TVCC. 7. Take cognizance of the threats issued by the corporators in and outside the council as an indication of guilt and take appropriate steps to investigate their antecedents and prosecute them as appropriate. Thanking you in anticipation of a quick and prompt response. Impact On receipt of the letter the CM issued a letter asking BBMP commissioner to look in the matter raised and take the necessary action. But, due to an unexplainable multi day delay in the delivery of the letter over a distance of a few k.m. the letter reached BBMP office only after the resignation of Mr Devraj was accepted. Newletter from aapkarnataka.org aapkarnataka.org 08095435393 info@aapkarnataka.org Page 13 AAP Karnataka reacts to the union cabinet’s proposal to amend the RTI act and representation of people act. PRESS NOTE Once again as seen during the Janlokpal agitation it is apparent that our elected "representatives" do not truly "represent" the wishes and aspirations of the citizens of this country. Aam Aadmi Party has been conducting informal surveys as to whether the people of this country would like 1. Implementation of the recent supreme court order barring persons convicted of serious crimes, by a court from contesting pending.This in spite of appeals if any at higher courts. Sitting MLA’s and MP’s who get convicted during their term, have to resign pending appeals if any at higher courts. 2. Political parties to come under the ambit of RTI as per the recent CIC order. People have almost unanimously said that they would like the above two measures to be implemented. People are today watching with utter shock and anguish this unity being shown by all political parties to quash the above two measures. Political parties have been arguing against #1 stating that, candidates will be targeted through false and politically motivated cases. Aam Aadmi party is of the opinion that political parties should be suggesting establishment of special fast track courts to hear and decide on such cases against elected representatives rather than fight on the behalf of criminals who are using this method to entrench themselves in the political system. Political parties have been expressing that it would be an administrative challenge to provide information under RTI regarding party funding and expenses. Aam Aadmi party is of the opinion that if political parties publish all information regarding funding and expenses voluntarily in public domain then there will be no requirement for large administrative expenses as claimed by the political party for furnishing the same under RTI. Aam Aadmi Party is fully in support of above two measures(Transparency and decriminalization of political system) and has declared that no people with criminals records will be given tickets to contest the elections and details of funding as well as expenditure is already published in public domain. Today Reforms such as electoral reforms, anti-corruption laws, judicial reforms, police reforms are the need of the day and day by day it appears that there is a conflict of interest with our present day lawmakers resulting in the lack of political will to implement the same. AAM Aadmi Party urges all political parties to rise above self interests and implement suitable reforms that will protect democracy in our country. Newletter from aapkarnataka.org aapkarnataka.org 08095435393 info@aapkarnataka.org Page 14