The Telegraph
Thursday , February 6 , 2014
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Private jury to take poll call

Good governance cannot be denied if people become conscious about their democratic rights.

In a bid to achieve it, a group of intellectuals had constituted a national level body, Bharatiya Suraaj Manch, in September 2013. Now, they have come up with a people’s jury both at national and state levels for identification of suitable candidates for the forthcoming Parliamentary and Assembly elections.

While former Supreme Court judge Justice P.B. Sawant is the chairman of the national jury, Justice (retd) Vikramaditya Prasad will lead the state body.

The official announcement of the constitution of the state jury will be made on February 9.

Explaining about its functioning, Justice Prasad said: “It will assist people in deciding a suitable candidate for his or her constituency.”

According to Prasad, political parties select its candidates on the basis of caste, muscle and money power and his or her chances of winning from a specific constituency.

“But it is imperative to choose and prepare potential candidates with stronger integrity, superior intelligence, meaningful education and a better track record of performance, irrespective of his/her caste, community, wealth and muscle power. In order to achieve this objective, Bharatiya Suraaj Manch wishes to carry out a comprehensive programme in search of such candidates,” Justice Prasad added.

The state jury will comprise eminent personalities like former IAS officers Lakshmi Singh and Mukhtiyar Singh, former Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce of Commerce and Industry general secretary R.D. Singh, former principal accountant general of Bengal Benjamin Lakra, human rights activist Gladson Dungdung, former advocate general of Jharkhand Suhail Anwar and senior journalist Srinivas.

Convenor of the national jury P.K. Siddharth, a former IPS officer, said: “Our objective is to promote understanding of democratic and political process and sensitising people about the implications of these processes. The people’s jury now formed will identify honest and capable candidates.”