NDA’s boycott of Parliament unjustified

H.K. Dua’s article “Sight of the tainted” (April 30) is timely because the NDA continues its boycott of Parliament on the issue of tainted ministers. Central to the issue is the question, as Mr Dua put it, “how at all the tainted men gain entry into political parties, and get elected to Parliament and the state legislature.”

To block their entry, the Supreme Court took the initiative in two landmark judgments. However, both the Vajpayee government and the Opposition joined together in asserting Parliament’s supremacy and thwarted the rulings. The Supreme Court could not go beyond the Laxman Rekha. This is the inherent limitation of “judicial law-making”. Thus, it is Parliament and not the judiciary that had failed the people.

The UPA government’s predicament remains the same as was that of NDA: its survival depends upon the arithmetic of the coalition partners. The Prime Minister’s prerogative to select his ministers depends not on merit but numbers. If the law itself is bereft of morality, then the solution lies in providing new legal norms through a vigorous debate.

Dr VIRENDRA KUMAR, UGC Emeritus Fellow, Panjab University, Chandigarh



Letters to the Editor

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Political parties are the main culprits. Parliament’s functioning will continue to be affected as long as people elect undesirable elements. The people will have to defeat tainted candidates in the elections. Any person who is charge-sheeted in a court of law anywhere in the country or abroad should be disqualified from contesting the elections.

Col KULDIP SINGH GREWAL (retd), Patiala


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is unable to sack tainted ministers as the survival of his government depends on their support. Why have so many small parties then? Too many political parties will affect the quality of governance. Those who talk about coalition era overlook the question of the country’s unity and integrity.

Simultaneously, the Representation of People Act should be amended to block the entry of criminal and corrupt elements into the representative institutions. The Anti-Defection Law should also be made more stringent. If an MP or MLA defects to another party, he must resign from his membership and seek a re-election.



Parliamentary democracy is considered an inefficient dispensation. Churchill called it “the worst form of government”. But there is no better alternative available. Politicians are the same everywhere. Nikita Khruschev once remarked: “The politicians promise to build bridges even where there are no bridges!”

Hopefully, our new young MPs are better than the old lot. They are highly qualified, ideology-driven and remain focussed on issues of concern. It is, however, up to the older MPs to rise above petty politics and strive for nation building.

Brig GOVIND SINGH KHIMTA (retd), Shimla


All those who have watched the proceedings of the Lok Sabha in the Fifties and the early Sixties share Mr Dua’s nostalgia. Parliament had titans like Nehru, Azad, Pant, Lohia, Shyam Prasad Mukherji, Ranga, Nathpai, Hiren Mukherji and Acharya Kripalini. Of course, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was also there. But he was young and shy. Moreover, despite his impressive oration, he was not considered a big gun then.

Boycott of Parliament is no remedy. To keep the Laloos at bay, some constitutional measures are needed. One hopes the Opposition appreciates Dr Manmohan Singh’s helplessness in the matter and extends constructive cooperation in removing the weed from the government.



Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement, “As the people will send their representatives to Parliament, so will be the government” is apt. Voters must reject tainted candidates in the elections, but MPs too should learn to behave. They promptly approved the Bill raising their allowances. But when the Budget was discussed, the Opposition walked out.

The nation is disturbed over the increasing criminalisation of politics. All the MPs should sit together and evolve a consensus on how to check this problem. No party can rule the country if it is blackmailed continuously in the name of democracy. Parliament’s grace must be maintained at any cost.



Every MP has a sacred duty to perform in the healthy functioning of our democratic institutions. The least the UPA government is to see reason and the Opposition must be made to perform in a respectable manner for the greater good of the people.

KARTAR SINGH MEET, Jalandhar Cantt

King of fruits in trouble

Mango, the King of fruits, is in trouble in Chandigarh. This belt was once famous for its bumper mango crop. Many residents have grown mango trees in their kitchen gardens. Sadly, there has been an alarming decline in the yield from year to year, apparently because of the increasing pollution.

Surprisingly, despite rich flowering this year, almost all mango trees have been robbed of the fruit. Even prescribed sprays have proved futile. We don’t know whether the disappearance of the fruit has been caused by some virus attack or it is the culmination of rising toxification. Will experts or the government share our concern and guide us?

K.R. AWASTHY, Chandigarh

No direct train

There is no direct train for Ambala from Ferozepur via Faridkot. Passengers bound for Faridkot-Ferozepur are facing hardship because Haridwar Express arrives late at Bathinda. They miss DMU for Fazilka which leaves at 9.25 pm.

There are four to six trains from New Delhi to Bathinda. One of them can be extended up to Ferozepur or a new train introduced on this section. If this is not possible, the DMU, after the arrival of Hardwar Express, should leave at 10 pm to help passengers avoid a night halt at Bathinda.

S.L. CHAWLA, Kotkapura


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