Monday, August 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Crusade against corruption or ‘reign of terror’?

DURING the last few years the public was fleeced and it was fed up with the growing corruption in Punjab. The posts were put on sale, transfers may be of any rank could not be effected without bribes. Besides the civil, executive, police jobs, the posts of peon, clerk and teacher had to be purchased. The selling price of each job was well known to the public. Those who had the ill-gotten money purchased the posts for their wards and the talented were left out.

Capt Amarinder Singh has grappled with this problem. Those who have been caught by the Vigilance Bureau have confessed and property worth crores of rupees has been recovered from them. The looted money used to purchase land, kothis in posh areas of cities, cars, buses etc all have been recovered and made known to the public. In view of the recovery of crores of rupees from the PPSC Chairman, several ministers and other officials, this cannot be called “vendetta”. If the corrupt are caught and they say a “rein of terror has been let loose on them”, is there any sense in this? Certainly only the corrupt would shield the corrupt.

Now the Opposition is planning dharnas and agitations and the public has the right to ask: why all this for? The tainted persons are seeking protection by misguiding the public and are diverting public attention from the real issue to law and order or reign of terror. The people are well aware of such cheap tactics.


The Chief Minister of Punjab has taken right steps and all the honest people, intellectuals and politicians should support him, irrespective of their party affiliations. Eradication of corruption is a panacea for the development of state. In the fight against corruption, the entire state should support Capt Amarinder Singh as it is in the larger interest of the state.


Gigantic task: The fight against corruption must be brought to a logical end by mopping up intransigent remnants still smouldering in the bureaucratic hierarchy. The task of identification of corrupt public servants can be entrusted to non-governmental anti-corruption and ex-servicemen organisations. Then the state government has just to order a survey and assessment of moveable/immoveable properties, cash/jewellery viz-a-viz their legal sources of income to prosecute the corrupt.

One may not be surprised if the number of such treacherous creatures turns out to be a few thousands. Vigilance alone may not have adequate resources to deal with all cases. The task is gigantic, so seems the resolve of Capt Amarinder Singh, who may have to raise an anti-corruption ministry with dedicated and honest politicians and officials.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal has gone bankrupt of his political prudence when he says that bringing the corrupt (ex-ministers) to face judicial scrutiny was anti-people. Does he mean that “honouring the corrupt” will be a step in the right direction? People are not fools to buy such ideas.

I am sure Capt Amarinder Singh will not be cowed by misconceptualised dharnas/rallies organised by the SAD. At the moment only one thing can go against Capt Amarinder Singh that development has come to a standstill. But this is none of his fault as fiscal bankruptcy has been caused by misdemeanours of the previous government. Though people are itching for development, yet to be fair we must give him some more time.

Col KULDIP SINGH GREWAL (retd), Patiala

Vajpayee’s rule

THE BJP rule saw the worst communal carnage in Gujarat. Their dreams of “Ram raj” were brought down first with the Tehelka scam which hit the Defence Ministry. Then came the coffin scam, the cash-for-job scam, the petrol pump scam and the land scam.

Even though one after the other your prominent ministers ranging from George Fernandes, Pramod Mahajan, Ram Naik to Ananth Kumar, to name a few, are being charged with corruption, they still remain in power only because you seem to be too weak. Do you, Mr Vajpayee, have any reassuring message to the disillusioned people of India?




Social security set-up

This refers to “Social security set-up” (Aug 17). While it is true that there are social schemes galore being implemented tardily because of corruption and indifferent bureaucracy, you seem to have erred grievously in citing the example of 4/6 lane Golden Quadrangle road project proceedings at snail’s pace. It betrays the writer’s ignorance which is not expected from this paper.

As a technical person familiar with governmental functioning. I consider constructing 6,000 km of roads with a large number of culverts and bridges through different kinds of terrain at an outlay of Rs 30,000 crore in a short period of four years as nothing short of a miracle for this country and, if the minister’s recent statement on TV is to be believed, then this project will be substantially completed by 2003 end. Even if the project is completed by 2004 end, it will be a great achievement and one wishes other such projects are similarly executed. It had taken more than a decade to build a similar project between Ambala and Delhi.

S.L. BHATIA, Panchkula

Assembly elections

The six-month limit prescribed under Article 174 of our Constitution for the gap between two sessions of the legislature refers obviously to an existing assembly only. The phrase used is “its last sitting” in one session and “its first sitting” in the next session.

Besides, common sense also points in the same direction. Suppose an assembly was dissolved five-and-a-half months after its last sitting. Can the Election Commission announce the date for elections, call for nominations, fix dates for scrutiny and withdrawals, give time for canvassing, conduct the polling and counting, and notify the new assembly, all within 15 days? If Mr Arun Jaitley thinks that it can, one wonders how he was once considered one of India’s leading lawyers.


Pointless fight with EC

This refers to the editorial “Pointless fight with the EC” (Aug 19). The decision of the Election Commission for not holding an early election in Gujarat was based on the ground factors which in the opinion of almost all political parties except the BJP were not conducive for early election. The BJP wanted to cash in on the prevailing communal tension in the state — an approach certainly not in the national interests.

Major NARINDER SINGH JALLO (retd), Kapurthala

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