Natwar should have quit promptly
The question raised in the editorial “Good riddance”
The episode has sullied Natwar’s image as a seasoned diplomat and mature leader. The editorial aptly referred to the examples set by Lal Bahadur Shastri and Madhavrao Scindia who resigned without creating any fuss or causing discomfiture to anyone. Politicians shall learn from the example set by the two leaders.
Prof B.R. SOOD,
As he clinged on to his ministerial post for over a month, Mr Natwar Singh threw to the wind all propriety and accountability in politics. Apparently, the Prime Minister didn’t remove him because he was waiting till the writing was clear on the wall — after his ouster from the Congress Steering Committee, loss of support from the Left and the Opposition’s demand for resignation following Anil Mathrani’s revelations.
The beleaguered leader was blatantly adamant, maintaining that resignation would be considered an “admission of guilt”. However, had he resigned promptly, it would have been considered a sign of self-respect.
Mr Natwar Singh should have resigned long back when the report of the Volcker Committee having named him as a non-contractual beneficiary in the Oil-for-Food programme appeared in the newspapers. However, he was defiant from the very beginning and he refused to resign from the Union Council of Ministers. As a result, the BJP obstructed the proceedings in Parliament.
When Babulal Gaur was asked to step down as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Shivraj Singh Chauhan told to chip in, everyone including Uma Bharti were shocked. She is rightly angry with the party leaders since it was under her leadership that the BJP returned to power in that state.
However, the way she has shown her dissatisfaction is improper. She could have tried to curb her anger and talk to party officials in Delhi. She should not have made allegations against her own party leaders. This immature behaviour has harmed the party’s image. The party had to take strict action against her to check indiscipline in the party.
Ms Uma Bharti has asked Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Mr L.K. Advani to cleanse the BJP (Dec 9). Since when has the party become dirty? Has it happened after she was denied the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister’s chair? In fact, she should first cleanse her own mind to understand the meaning of sanyas.
Umaji should know that sanyas means “laying down”, i.e. giving up the lust for money and office. When she was denied the chief ministerial chair, she should have explored other ways of serving the party and society. More important, she should have discouraged her followers from indulging in vandalism.
R. L. SINGAL,
Millions of admirers of the fiery patriot are flummoxed over Uma’s present predicament. They fully endorse her stand but at the same time do not condone her acts of indiscipline.
Discipline is extremely vital for a party. But earlier too stalwarts like Vasantrao Oak, Balraj Madhok, M.L. Sondhi, Govindacharya et al were jettisoned on minor technical grounds. The Congress party had distanced itself from the late H.V. Kamath for his occasional fracas with Jawaharlal Nehru though he respected the latter.
Ducks and drakes
(Inspired by Lieut-Gen Baljit Singh’s otherwise delightful poem in these columns on December 14, 2005).
K. M. KAPOOR,