After over 60 years since Independence, India still lives in the past chained to an antiquated and autocratic political culture that has marginalised people cutting across various sections of society – youth, women, disadvantaged, middle-class and so on. The youth hardly have any place in our public affairs. Rampant corruption, power abuse, excessive centralisation, ineffective instruments of rule of law and justice are some of the negative forces that are dragging the country from surging ahead.
To propel the country and its growth to the next level, the change must start from the grassroots – with a new political culture. Political parties should fundamentally go through a transformation internally to uphold the values underlined in India’s Constitution.
Lok Satta Party’s Constitution, in lines with the Constitution of the India, is the cornerstone of its very existence. It talks of a member-controlled, democratic and transparent political process. Following a “practice what you preach” approach, it provides equal opportunities to all, freedom of expression and speech without any discrimination of any sort. Unlike a vast majority of parties, including the bigwigs, it has a clear non-discriminative and democratic process of selection, whether it is for a party’s national president’s role or to contest in a grassroot panchayat election. Politics, according to Lok Satta Party, is a moral endeavour to promote human happiness and harmony.
Some of the salient points of Lok Satta Party’s Constitution are as below, reproduced in toto from its September 2011 edition.
- Any individual who has a prior record of indulging in criminal, corrupt and/or morally reprehensible behaviour will not be eligible to be a member of Lok Satta Party. (Article V. Membership)
- All elections within the Party shall be through a system of Single Transferable Vote (STV) and preferential voting system as prescribed. (Article VII. Party Elections)
- Unless otherwise specified the term of all office bearers for all organs of the Party shall be 3 years. (Article VIII. Leadership and Office Bearers)
- If for any reason, a vacancy arises for any elected office at any level of the Party, the concerned Electoral Authority shall fill the vacancy only for the remainder of that term, as prescribed. (Article XIX. Filling Vacancies)
- Selection of Party candidates for local, state, national legislatures and other elective bodies shall be through a democratic process, as may be prescribed. (Article XXIII. Selection of Candidates)
- There shall be a provision to challenge and recall the President at all levels of the Party, as prescribed. (Article XXIV. Motion to Challenge and Recall)
- The Party shall adopt proactive affirmative action-based approach to ensure gender and social equity, as prescribed. (Article XXV. Gender and Social Equity)
- The Disciplinary Authority shall have the power to impose the following penalties:
- Suspension of membership
- Change in the membership category
- Removal from office
- Expulsion from the Party (Article XXVI. Disciplinary Authority)
- Donations to the Party and membership fee should be duly acknowledged by a receipt. (Article XXVII. Resources and Accounts)