ANDHRA PRADESH

House panel holds hearing on factional violence

ANANTAPUR JULY 3. Senior citizens, representatives of non-governmental organisations, intellectuals and leaders of various political parties in the district at large have suggested the Legislative Assembly House Committee on Factional Violence to recommend the Government to prohibit persons with any criminal background from contesting elections at any level.

Expressing their view before the House Committee headed by G.S.S. Sivaji, which commenced its three-day visit to the district on Wednesday to elicit suggestions on eradication of factional violence, they also suggested creating a social awareness against factionism, cutting sources of illegal income and steps for 100 per literacy of women among others.

The committee members -- N. Varadarajulu Reddy, Y. Ella Reddy, N. Raghuveera Reddy and K. Jayaram -- the District Collector, Somesh Kumar, and the Superintendent of Police, Anjana Sinha, were also present.

A majority of senior citizens, intellectuals and representatives of NGOs reasoned that factionism was a socio-economic problem. The solution to end the evil lied in creating employment opportunities, awareness of the masses and keeping the persons with criminal background away from politics, they opined.

Most of them also sought ban on films glorifying factionism.

The State secretary of AP Civil Liberties Committee, Seshaiah, stated that factionism of yesteryears was limited to personal feuds in villages, but it was now spread to State level for political domination. Corruption in public life was enabling a fast growth of factionism, he felt. He suggested cancellation of gun licences to all politicians and factional leaders apart from barring the latter from contesting polls.

All political parties were patronising factional leaders for their vested interests and, in turn, they were interfering with police functioning, said G. Obulakonda Reddy, the district secretary of CPI(M). The Anantapur MP, K. Srinivasulu, said inordinate delay in settling minor disputes was also a culprit in the growth of factionism.

K. Ramkrishna of CPI said confiscation of illegally amassed wealth and properties of factionists would have an impact on them. He also suggested that 100 per cent women literacy could also bring revolutionary changes in the attitude of factional leaders.

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