Keep President above party politics

The editorial, “Race for Raisina Hill” (June 19) rightly describes the United National Progressive Alliance’s choice as an “exercise in flippery” to harass both the UPA and the NDA as also President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. It aptly infers that the contest is mainly between Mrs Pratibha Patil and Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.

Indian politics is quite tricky and unprincipled. Religions and castes are dangerously mixed with secular and democratic politics. No body can make an authentic prophecy. There are parties within parties. Aya Rams and Gaya Rams also play tricks. Means justify the ends here. The goal is to capture power by hook or by crook. This year’s presidential election reflects confusion among power-hungry parties.

Whoever wins the presidential elections will have to follow the Constitution in letter and spirit. He should keep himself above partisan politics. Let the contest be fair and clean.

Prof HARI SINGH,Kheri Jat (Jhajjar)



It is a pity that the highest office of the country with complete disregard of individual merit and competence is being used as a reward for dynastic loyalty by the same party and the family who had earlier imposed such candidates during the seventies and eighties.

This has resulted in gross misuse of powers, particularly during the Emergency, which is still fresh in memory. Its repetition will further weaken our democratic set up. We must remember that the President is the custodian of our Constitution. Thus, the only criterion for the selection of candidate is individual merit and distinction.

To maintain the sanctity of this institution and uphold our democratic values, political parties should avoid fulfilling their political and dynastic ambitions and nominate the best candidate to be our First Citizen.

Col RAMESH DAVESAR (retd),Chandigarh


It is good that the ruling UPA and the Left have nominated a woman for the presidential elections. But this has kicked off an ugly controversy. Ideally, we must have an apolitical person as President.

The suggestion for giving a second term to Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is also praiseworthy. It is not too late and there is still time for all the political parties to sit together and evolve a consensus on the new President.

S.K. MITTAL, Panchkula


Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s choice of Mrs Pratibha Patil for the next President is the best example of women’s empowerment. Now that Mrs Patil’s election to the highest office is almost certain, some politicians are determined to oppose her candidature. Ms Jayalalithaa is one of them.

It would have been a befitting honour to women and a significant contribution to their empowerment had all the political parties endorsed Mrs Patil’s candidature. Even otherwise, the post of President is apolitical.

NEENA SHARMA, Sundernagar


All the political parties should support the candidature of Mrs Pratibha Patil for the post of President. Yes, in India’s 60th year of Independence, a woman in the Rashtrapati Bhavan will be an eloquent tribute to women’s enrichment and empowerment.

The ball is in the court of the NDA and UNPA now. They must support the UPA-Left sponsored candidate.

SUNDER SINGH GIANI,Dialpura (Mohali)


I feel Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat is the best candidate for the post of President. He is a person of high integrity, ability and competence with a sound knowledge of the Constitution.

Mr Shekhawat has also demonstrated his true secular credentials while conducting the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha as its Chairman. He has always been impartial in his rulings and he has not shown any bias towards any particular political party or alliance.

D.R. SHARDA, Chandigarh


For better services at PGI

Nehru Hospital attached to the PGI, Chandigarh, is a referral centre, and provides tertiary care and emergency medical, surgical and intensive care services. Nearly 60 million patients are dependent on this hospital for medical services.

However, it is overburdened and poorly funded. Managing a public hospital without adequate funds is not so easy. Patients are willingly paying Rs 500 as consultation charges on each visit in certain popular private clinics. I suggest that each patient should pay at least a parchi fee of Rs 10 on every visit to any department/service in the PGI to end its funding problem. The patient should be a willing partner in better management of his/her hospital by funding it.

The PGI on its part should end the harassment of patients and their attendants by improving the payment system. Since payments can be received online also, there should be no need to stand in long queues. Each ward/ section should have facilities for receiving payments through credit cards/ smart cards as is being done at various sales counters in the city. For cash payment, a bank can be authorised to collect the dues. The bank should open an adequate number of counters to make cash payments easy.

Dr R. KUMAR, Chandigarh

Theft in the train

Of late, there has been an increase in the number of thefts in the train. My son-in-law travelled by Hem Kund Express on June 2, from Bilaspur to Jalandhar City. His seat was reserved. He locked up the bag with a chain as usual. He got down at Ludhiana station to have water. But, on his return, he found the bag missing. The bag contained cash to the tune of Rs 15,000.

Thefts in the train with other passengers as well, everyday. The Railway Police and the Railway Ministry should take effective steps to stop such regular thefts. The Railway Police knows everything about such culprits, “as who they are” and where they are”.

Grateful if the Government Railway Police (GRP) nab the culprit and get the bag returned to us at the earliest.

AJIT SINGH, Jalandhar



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