Veterans slam parties for ‘losing concern for people’

The morality of politics had denigrated to such a level that even a bill to tackle corruption was subject to individual benefit for the political parties, said leaders across major State parties at the discussion on politics during Alva’s Vishwa Nudisiri-Virasat held here on Saturday.

The discussion saw the participation of Janata Dal (Secular) leader M.C. Nanaiah, BJP leader S. Suresh Kumar and B.L. Shankar from the Congress, who mulled on the issues that afflicted modern politics. “Society views all politicians as corrupt, criminal and immoral. And why not? The past five years have proved that politicians have lost concern for the people,” said Mr. Nanaiah. He believed uncontrolled corruption – even in the Judiciary – was slowly destroying democracy. “The voting public also shares the blame in the degradation of political values, as tainted politicians are repeatedly voted back to power,” said the JD(S) leader.

‘Self-preservation’

He remained caustic about the nature of politics, believing that politicians unite only for self-protection, as in the case of the criminal MPs/MLA ordinance or even the Lokpal bill.

“Initially, no party wanted the Lokpal Bill, as there were corrupt members across all parties. Now that Anna Hazare has made it a national issue – and Aam Aadmi Party has derived success out of it – the parties have passed it. If AAP had received just a handful of seats, the bill would not have been passed,” said Mr. Nanaiah.

While reiterating Mr. Nanaiah’s views, Mr. Kumar, who was a minister in the previous government, questioned if the atmosphere was conducive for good politicians. Citing the example of an MP candidate – described as being honest – whose workers were concerned about the economic benefits of campaigning for him,

Mr. Kumar asked: “How many people will actually support a good politician? Is there a system that will support good politics?”

On the Lokpall Bill, he said it was only a “treatment” for corruption and not a preventive cure for it.

He said the need of the hour was the earnest politics that was seen before and immediately after independence.

‘Spirit of democracy’

Focusing on the positives of the democratic process, B.L. Shankar believed the Parliament reflected the diversity – of caste, language, religion, race and even opinion – of the country.

“The greatest achievement of the Parliament was that anyone in the country could dream of becoming a Prime Minister. However, the loophole is that not many good leaders will be given that opportunity in the current trend of nepotism and hereditary politics,” said. Mr. Shankar.

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