MPs’ motto: Self before service

Apropos of the editorial Charity begins at home (Dec 27), I fully agree with the view that the undue haste with which the members of Lok Sabha have decided to grant themselves a hefty hike in perks is shocking. It has further eroded their image and credibility. When it comes to promoting their own interests, politicians of all hues and colours get united. The rules are conveniently changed to suit their ends.

The Union Finance Minister often talks of the increasing fiscal deficit and financial crunch when it comes to serving the poor, particularly the unorganised sector. Needless to mention, many government schemes are pending in different parts of the country for want of funds. But this has not attracted the attention of the powers that be.

What to talk of serving MPs, even the interests of former MPs are fully taken care of while distributing such bonanza at the cost of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. Height of double standards, indeed!

Prof. N.M. GOSAIN, Bathinda




Strangely, the Union Government has enough funds for former MPs but it has no funds for retired employees. It has allowed a minimum monthly pension of Rs 3,000 to all former MPs irrespective of their period of membership. It means, as soon as an MP takes oath, he becomes entitled to pension. On the contrary, a government employee has to put in at least 10 years of service to earn a monthly pension of Rs 1,275. What a difference! Former employees, too, seek a better deal.


Dissidence ends?

I doubt whether dissidence in the Punjab Congress has come to an end following the latest rapprochement. During the recent Assembly elections, the Congress suffered a humiliating debacle, except in Delhi. Perhaps that was not enough to tarnish the image of the party. As the high command was badly bruised, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, a senior minister, raised the banner of revolt against the Chief Minister. Capt Amarinder Singh is fighting a grim battle with the Badals. Guided by sheer opportunism, Mrs Bhattal chose to strike when the iron was hot.

Mrs Sonia Gandhi was under tremendous pressure to change the leadership in Punjab but she could not go ahead because of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. A shoddy enactment of a flop show was displayed in Delhi.

Will the latest patch-up help check dissidence? Most ministers of the dissident group are still not attending their offices and the files are piling up. Ultimately, the sufferers are the people of Punjab who voted the Congress to power. The Congress high command must keep its flock together and put up a better show to win the confidence of the people of Punjab. Otherwise, in the coming Lok Sabha elections, a complete white wash is awaiting them.

KARNAIL SINGH, Ranjit Sagar Dam

Marriage of convenience

Apropos of the editorial After 24 years (Jan 10), it is strange that the DMK has suddenly realised that the BJP is communal. As an NDA partner, its members and friends like the MDMK and the PMK had enjoyed all the privileges, including ministerial berths with important portfolios.

And now when the Lok Sabha elections are round the corner, it has ditched the BJP and the NDA government. Even the late Murasoli Maran, as a Union Minister until his death, was treated in India and abroad for a long time at the cost of the taxpayer. This is nothing but a marriage of convenience.

M.P.S. RANDHAWA, Dhapai (Kapurthala)


Rao’s acquittal

The acquittal of former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao in the Lakhubhai Pathak cheating case — freeing him from the last legal wrangle blocking his political career — is significant. A seasoned and shrewd leader with a sharp political acumen, Mr Rao will be an asset to the party. If he actively involves himself in the party work, this would enthuse the rank and file of the party. And this, to my mind, would make all the difference in the country’s political scenario.

Candidly speaking, Mr Rao has the requisite potential not only to take the party's dilapidated vote share but also pose a serious challenge to the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the general elections. One may reasonably look forward to exciting times ahead!

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

EC must debar them

The censuring of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, former Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Ajit Jogi and Congress President Sonia Gandhi by the Election Commission for violating the model code of conduct during the recent Assembly elections is neither a deterrent nor effective. Rather they should have been debarred from contesting any election and holding public office for at least six years because omissions and commissions by those in the government will have a far-reaching impact on election results.

M.L. MONGA, Dharamshala

Son-centric mania

The increasing cases of female foeticide and the neglect the girl child in our country are a matter of shame and concern. Our “son-centric” mothers are equally responsible for this evil. They collaborate in the crime of female foeticide and undergo countless pregnancies, risking their health and even lives only to become mother to a son.

Unless mothers themselves get rid of this “son-centric” mania, the future of the girl child and our country will remain bleak. Remember, today’s girls are tomorrow’s mothers and have a very important role in grooming our future generations.

Col D.S. DHALIWAL (retd), Patiala

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