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Shun criminals in Assembly elections

The editorial “Over to people: Field only candidates with clean image” (Oct 15) is very timely in the context of the Assembly elections in six states and a warning for the next general elections. All major political parties should select their candidates with clean image. Those with criminal antecedents should not be given tickets despite their winnability factor.

More and more women representatives shall make the parliamentarians a bit disciplined. In the presence of more women in Parliament and state legislatures, the language, dress and general behaviour of men shall improve.

The general model code of conduct of the Election Commission should be enforced in letter and spirit.

S. K. MITTAL, Panchkula


Sadly, intelligent and educated people have no interest in politics and they don’t come forward to contest the elections. The situation would have been totally different today had they occupied positions in the governments at the Centre and in the states.

Unfortunately, mostly illiterate persons with no knowledge and understanding about elections contest and become MPs, MLAs and ministers. This should change for the better in the national interest.


Needless row

An honourable recourse by the armed forces to seek just reward for the services they render, through their respective Chiefs, has been turned into an unsavoury controversy (Arundhati Ghose’s article, “Services’ contempt of civil authority is not casual”, Oct 22).

The writer states that “the onus lies in the first place on the three Service Chiefs to clarify their stand”. But they have been at pain to state that the anomalies arising out of the Sixth Pay Commission report have not been redressed. The horrendous repercussions arising from the anomalies have certainly not been grasped, neither by the committee nor the government.

Sadly, the inter se status of a civil servant and armed forces officers is derived from the monthly pay they derive, but not by the nature of service they render. The gravest anomaly relates to this one fundamental issue.

Unfortunately, the intent of an honourable approach by the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, acting within the parametres of the Constitution, has been distorted and made a subject of public debate. Worse, a seasoned diplomat should have gone so overboard as to suggest that the armed forces have abjured their time-honoured apolitical culture.

The Indian armed forces are still the best, the most disciplined body. Let us not deceive them, please.

Lt-Gen BALJIT SINGH (retd), Chandigarh

Hold the price line

The increase in the prices of essential commodities is unprecedented. The common man finds it difficult to make both ends meet. The purchasing power of the rupee is sinking day by day. The housewife is unable to manage the family budget.

In many cases, very poor families can’t take meal twice a day. Milk has become a luxury. The people’s general health profile is going down. The Centre should take effective steps to hold the price line.


Delayed pension

According to a Supreme Court ruling, every retired employee of the Central or state government is authorised to receive his/her pension in the first week of a month. But retired employees of Haryana’s aided schools receive their pension quarterly through the schools from where they retired.

This is arbitrary and a violation of rules. In tune with the apex court ruling, the Haryana government should ensure that all retired employees of aided schools get their pension through banks in the first week of every month.

N.K. MITTAL, Ambala Cantonment

N-plant for Punjab

Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Badal doesn’t want a nuclear power plant in Punjab because it is a border state. How did he arrive at this inference? This is anti-Punjab and pro-mafia supplying coal from Bihar and Orissa to the thermal plants in Punjab and Haryana.

A nuclear plant will supply clean energy, won’t harm the environment and the people and will do away with Punjab’s dependence on Bihar and Orissa for coal. It will also eliminate the problem of disposal of fly-ash which causes many diseases. It will end the monopoly and corruption of transport companies and suppliers who delay coal supply sometimes.

Maj J.S. DHILLON (retd), Mahisampur Khurd (Amritsar)

On equal footing

The Centre and the states should always mention paramilitary forces while discussing or making any statements about the welfare of armed forces personnel. Among the paramilitary forces, some are posted even ahead of the Army units and they face the same hazards faced by the Services.

Thus, the paramilitary forces need the same benefits and appreciation as that of the Army personnel.

M.L. THAKUR, Dulla (Kangra)



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