Unite under JD(U), Bommai tells groups

BANGALORE, OCT. 11. The Janata Dal (United) leader and former Chief Minister, S.R. Bommai, has revived the plea for unification of the Janata Dal factions and political polarisation. However, Mr. Bommai wants the factions to unite under the banner of his party.

Speaking at a function to mark the 102nd birth anniversary of Jayaprakash Narayan, Mr. Bommai wanted parties which believed in the ideals of the late leader to unite.

However, he criticised the Janata Dal (Secular) and questioned its "moral right" to celebrate the birth anniversary of Jayaprakash Narayan as it had "deviated from his ideals."

`Total revolution'

Mr. Bommai said the call given by Jayaprakash Narayan for a "total revolution" continued to be relevant as a large number of unorganised workers and youth did not have socio-economic freedom. Nearly 60 per cent of the youth were unemployed in the country. Many villages were still deprived of basic amenities such as potable drinking water, power and roads. Implementation of community development programmes conceived by Jayaprakash Narayan, was essential to transform the social and economic life of the villagers through their active participation.

Jayaprakash Narayan, one of the founders of the Socialist Party, took `sanyas' from politics soon after the first general elections and dedicated himself to the Sarvodaya Movement. Deeply disturbed by the deteriorating trends in parliamentary democracy, he launched Sampoorna Kranti (total revolution) in Bihar.

The "JP movement," named after him, paralysed much of northern India and directly challenged the policies of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The Emergency of 1975-77 was a dark chapter in India's democracy, Mr. Bommai, who was a leading light of the Opposition in the State in that period, said.

Noting Jayaprakash Narayan's contribution to the formation of the Janata Party, Mr. Bommai said it was voted to power in the 1977 election.

The Janata Dal (U) State unit president, B. Somashekar, said total revolution was needed to wipe out corruption, eradicate unemployment and bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. He recalled the services of JP in Vinobha Bhave's Bhoodan campaign.

He said Jayaprakash Nayaran advocated small-scale production and opposed large-scale development, which was pro-capital and pro-rich according to him. He believed that nothing would really change in the country until the ordinary villagers were changed. That was the problem today too, and there was need for economic policies with stress on agriculture to tackle unemployment.

Need for institutions

New democratic institutions had to be created to end muscle and money power in elections. Corruption, women's exploitation and spread of HIV/AIDS were some of the challenges before society, Mr. Somashekar said.

The Yuva Janata Dal (U) State unit president, K.C. Manjunath, said the party would launch a campaign in all districts to create awareness among the youth about "anti-people policies" of the State Government.

Basavaraj Bommai and M.P. Nadagoouda, MLCs, spoke.

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