August 07, 2005, The Hindu

Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal on Saturday observed that the monopoly enjoyed by political and industrial forces hampered growth and development in the country.

Speaking after inaugurating a seminar on “National Common Minimum Programme and economic Reforms” organised by Consumers’ Guidance Society here, he said by political monopoly, he meant the village and mandal level set-up, which was under the grip of particular sections of society for a long time.

Mr. Rajagopal pointed out that economic reforms began on a positive note in 1991 but the process received a setback after the NDA came to power at the Centre. Theirs was a single point agenda of constructing temples and destroying mosques.

The NDA constituents failed to understand that communal harmony was a prerequisite for achieving good results from reforms.

During a brief interactive session with the audience, he fielded questions on different issues. He denied that political monopoly had resulted from the failure of parliamentary democracy. The fault was in the grassroots and efforts were being made for the uplift of the marginalised sections in remote villages.