Bhopal: A new political party has been formed in Madhya Pradesh by a group of people who have come from different walks of life and joined hands to usher in an era of clean politics.
The new party, launched today, has been named as “Ugta Suraj Party” (USP) or the Rising Sun Party.
Senior journalist Lalit Shastri, who has been elected unanimously as the founder president of the new party said: “it will live up to its name and become an engine for change. The new party will fill a vacuum and usher a new dawn by uniting people cutting across class, caste, regional and religious lines, he said adding we are against the politics of vote bank and want to take everyone together.
It is a matter of deep concern that even 70 years after Independence, about one-third of India’s population continues to live below poverty line. In Madhya Pradesh, 35.74 per cent of the rural population and 21 per cent of the urban population is in the clutches of extreme poverty, Shastri said.
Shastri lamented that all political parties shout from rooftops about their commitment for the welfare and uplift of the Scheduled Tribes and Dalits. Notwitstanding the lofty claims by successive governments and more particularly the credit being taken by the present State BJP Government for shedding Madhya Pradesh’s BIMARU tag, it is a sordid fact that Madhya Pradesh, along with Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar contribute to more than half of newborn and under-five deaths in India. The State’s level of backwardsness gets exposed as the health administration has been failing continuously to prevent newborn deaths by improving quality of care during delivery and the governments have failed to improve the living conditions of a large section of people, which is so essential to scale up care at birth.
Shastri was particularly harsh in criticising successive governments led by both Congress and the BJP for neglecting an important sector like education. It has been more than 13 years that the BJP has been in power in Madhya Pradesh, he said. Drawing attention to the standard of education in most schools, especially those run by the Govenrment, Shastri said that both school education and the quality of higher education will be a major agenda of his party. It is only through quality education, we can hope to make our new generation self-reliant and bring the youth into the economic mainstream of the nation.
Shastri spelled out in clear terms that his party stands for equitable distribution of reservation facilities guaranteed under the Constitution and this, he said, would be possible only if we allow reservation on economic lines to benefit the most deprived or the last person in the queue. While the emphasis of his party would be on putting pressure to set in motion the process of rationalising the reservation system, which would require Constitution amendment, the first priority would be on extending the concept of creamy layer, which is presently applicable to the other backward classes, even to cover the SCs and STs, Shastri asserted. He also pointed out that administrative efficiency has been demolished due to the highly discriminatory reservation in promotion rule in Madhya Pradesh, where the promotions of officers from the unreserved categories have been blocked and those belonging to the SC and ST categories have been promoted. Ironically enough, the State Government has gone to the Supreme Court to challenge the High Court order declaring the Madhya Pradesh Reservation in Promotion rule as null and void and the Government is doing everything to delay the court proceedings in this matter.
Answering a pointed query about the newly formed party, the USP General Secretary Ram Mohan Chouksey said that we are going to fight corruption and work for transparency and good governance. Our party will have Parliamentary and Assembly constituency level units and also units at the panchayat and municipal ward levels. Those elected as party unit presidents at these levels will be the official party candidates who would be contesting the elections to Parliament, Assembly, local bodies and panchayats. After being elected once, there will a five year cooling period for the people’s representatives at all levels in order to allow new leadership to grow, he said.