Happy birthday Jayaprakash Narayan: Jayaprakash Narayan is not your typical Indian politician. He doesn’t even wear khadi, the regulation fabric.
Eight years before the Aam Aadmi Party burst on to the political scene, Narayan, a former bureaucrat, founded the Lok Satta Party promising a new kind of politics.
At its launch on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary in 2006, he had said the party would “work to eradicate corruption and bring in electoral reforms,” promises similar to AAP’s.
Five years ago, he won a seat in the state assembly.
Now he is contesting from Malkajgiri, Andhra Pradesh, the largest Lok Sabha constituency in India with nearly three million electors, which went to polls on April 30.
After talks with the Aam Aadmi Party and then the Bharatiya Janata Party about a tie-up fell through, he unilaterally pledged support for Narendra Modi, even though he is fighting Modi’s alliance partner the Telugu Desam Party in Malkajgiri.
Narayan’s predicament it typical of small parties, who have to slug it out with the entrenched patronage networks, money and muscle of bigger rivals.
Some of his major accomplishments while in government:
- As Joint Collector, he created full and permanent employment for 8000 youth from displaced families of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.
- As Collector of Prakasm District, he was instrumental in the creation of a record 2,00,000 acres of irrigation, the largest such program with direct participation of people
- As Collector of East Godavari District, he spearheaded the reconstruction of drainage and irrigation network in Krishna and Godavari deltas.
- He served as Secretary to both Governor and Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
- He worked on strengthening of the credit cooperatives and making them independent of government control.
His other accomplishments include several major policy initiatives, including:
- Empowerment of parents in schools
- Speedy justice through rural courts
- Economic reform and restructuring of AP
- Development of the Infocity in Hyderabad
- The much-acclaimed law for self reliant cooperatives (1995)
- Empowerment of local governments and stakeholders
We wish him luck and happiness!