Prevent criminals from entering Parliament

In his front-page editorial “Not by confrontation” (July 4), H.K. Dua has rightly analysed the political situation in the country. The confrontationist attitude adopted by the Manmohan Singh government and the Opposition does not augur well for a vibrant democracy like ours. The poll outcome has, indeed, left both the Congress and the BJP shocked. Neither of them was prepared to accept the respective new responsibilities. In the process, both parties are causing damage to the democratic values.

Be it the induction of tainted ministers in the Cabinet or the consequent boycott by the Opposition of the new Lok Sabha’s opening session, including a vote and debate on the President’s Address, these events reflect a very negative impression of the Indian polity worldwide. It shows the immaturity on the part of both parties to adopt a confrontationist attitude and thereby, vitiating the decorum of the House.

Instead of showing acrimony towards each other, both parties should show restraint and bury their differences through dialogue. They should act in the national interest and proceed to make a legislation barring criminals from entering Parliament/State legislatures and holding public office. In this regard, the age-old dictum that “a person is not guilty unless convicted by a court of law” should be discarded. An exception to the effect that “a charge-sheet against an accused would disqualify him from holding a public office” should be created. The Opposition should follow the healthy convention of attending the President’s Address and observing the provisions of the Constitution in letter and spirit.



Let us hope that the present hostile political environment is just a passing phase. The democratic fabric of this country is too strong to get besmirched by certain political ideologies. All that is required to set the house in order is certain amount of political will and some reforms.

Rajiv Bhalla, Chandigarh


The real problem, as pointed out by Mr Dua, is that the Opposition led by the BJP has failed to reconcile to its defeat in elections. A study of the election campaign of the BJP and the speeches of its leaders would suggest that they were behaving as if they will rule the country up to 2020 and that they were just completing the formality of holding the elections. Mr Dua is right that the electoral outcome came as a shock for the BJP and as a pleasant surprise for the Congress.

The BJP knows well that it can march forward only on a hate campaign which is evident from every election since 1989. This time it had no issue to polarise the masses on an emotional issue because the foreign origin of Mrs Sonia Gandhi had become a dead horse like Bofors though the BJP tried to flog both. Sadly, the BJP is desperate to find issues to create a state of anarchy and to cash on it.

It is good that the BJP-led NDA has decided to attend the discuission on the Railway Budget in Parliament. However, if it tries to disrupt the session again, the people know how to defend the democracy.

Dr Tirath Garg, Ferozepur City


Mr Dua has very rightly observed that the BJP, having tasted power for six years, is yet to reconcile itself to sitting on the Opposition benches. The BJP has very sane and mature leaders in Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Mr L.K. Advani. But the tragedy is that they themselves are shocked and stunned with the sudden loss of power and are not in a position to guide the party which is going beyond their control with every passing day.

Agreed that the worthies with criminal records should be thrown out of the government. But then, who is responsible for their entry into Parliament itself? According to one estimate, there are at present 109 MPs against whom criminal cases are pending in the courts. Among them, the BJP has the largest number of 26 MPs followed by 15 of the Congress, 10 of the RJD and so on. The Election Commission wanted to ban their entry by consensus but all parties including the BJP opposed such a move.

The BJP should reconcile itself to the fact that change is the law of nature and that nothing is perpetual. It is because of its wrong policies and wrong propaganda that the people have rejected them in the elections. It is not always possible to guage the trend of the voters and they cannot be taken for granted. It is time the BJP reconciled itself to the changed situation, shed frustration and respect the great institution of Parliament.

R.S.D. Bansal, Sirsa


The presence of criminals in any section of society is ominous and it is the advent of doomsday if they are able to infiltrate into the corridors of political power as they have done now. But the question is who is to blame for this state of affairs. Surely, the people who elect them. If the criminals can be elected, they can usurp ministerial offices too. If the Lalus and the cabal are holding ministerial posts, it is the people who are responsible for their being enconsed in the august offices.

Criminals’ entry into politics and the Council of Ministers can be averted if the intelligentsia takes up the cudgles against it. Mr Dua is right that the stink of criminals from Dr Manmohan Singh’s government has to be removed by means other than confrontation.



In the political tussle between the present and previous governments on the issue of “tainted” ministers, it is sad that Parliament was made to suffer for no fault of its own. It seemed to be a case of “Hum bhi dagi, tum bhi dagi”. The inclusion amounts to criminalisation of Cabinet. Let there be a meaningful debate on this topic in Parliament and each party be given time to air its views. And people will love to hear their views and make their own judgements. People expected the behaviour of new MPs in Parliament to be dignified, but that was not to be. The need of the hour is to tackle the danger posed by the mafia groups by all political parties collectively.

There is need for serious introspection by all political parties. Law makers must not be law breakers. Criminals must be kept at bay at any cost.


Why boys are far behind girls

The results of the Senior Secondary School Examination conducted by the Punjab School Education Board declared on June 19 suggests that among those securing the first 30 positions in order of merit, there were only five or six boys. What a disgrace! The picture of the Matriculation examination results announced on June 27 was no different as the girls secured most ranks. Nobody could dream that our boys would be in such a pathetic situation and lag far behind our girls.

Why are boys faring so badly in the examinations? Apparently, they are not under effective parental control. Moreover, boys are a pampered lot. The parents need to pay more attention to their sons if they are interested in their welfare and better career prospects. Like our girls, our boys too should work hard and obtain ranks in the examinations so that they can succeed in life.

T.R. GOYAL, Chandigarh


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