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Lokpal Bill: Sooner, the better

This is with reference to editorial ‘Lokpal Bill in limbo’ (December 31). I would like to say that the political class does not want the Lokpal Bill to be approved and made a law. They fear that it would only act against them and send them behind bars for all their misdeeds and corruption.

The midnight drama of the Rajya Sabha debate on the Lokpal Bill was abruptly adjourned midway. The Chairman made a mistake by adjourning the House sine die. The debate should have continued even past-midnight to reach its logical end.

If the President’s consent was required for extending the debate beyond midnight, then ex-post-facto sanction could have been obtained from the President the next day. Certainly, the ruling combine and also the Opposition did not want to have voting on the issue.

This is a scar on the democratic way of functioning of Parliament. Let’s hope the Lokpal Bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha in the next Budget session. This is the first step in fighting corruption and it should not be delayed any further. The sooner it is done, the better it is for the country.

RK KAPOOR, Chandigarh


In my opinion, there was no other alternative with the Congress but to drag its feet while seeing the attitude of its allies on passing of the crucial Lokpal Bill. One can understand the role of the BSP and the Samajwadi Party but the role of the Trinamool Congress is really shocking, as it has been supporting the Congress. Nothing can be taken for granted from Mamata Banerjee as she only knows what she will do.

You have rightly observed in your editorial that it would be apt if both the government and the Opposition show greater spirit of accommodation when the Lokpal Bill comes up again and not allow this vital piece of legislation against corruption to get bogged down like the Women’s Reservation Bill, which has been in limbo for long.


AFSPA revocation

Principles of good governance and administration demand that the advice of a specialist must be followed.

Gen VK Singh, Chief of the Army Staff, has, in an interview, warned that partial revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in J&K will create terrorist ‘sanctuaries’ and that dilution of the Act will be detrimental to national interest.

This is a very important matter. The Defence Minister should clearly tell the PM: If you want my forces to do their rightful duty, the AFSPA must not be diluted or revoked. The Prime Minister must act fast and tell the state government and the Law Ministry not to go ahead.

The Prime Minister has to look at the national interest first and foremost, notwithstanding political and other compulsions. The country does not want him to fail on this score too.

Prof CK SARDANA, Bhopal

PPP’s list

Whether the PPP makes any headway in the forthcoming Punjab Assembly elections or not, it must be commended for having fielded NRI candidates (‘Manpreet packs his first list with first-timers’, January 1).

The selection of Amanpreet Singh Chhina and Sat Pal speaks volumes for the PPP’s policy of connectivity with all Punjabis, including those who live abroad.

The French government has recently acceded to the demand of French citizens living in the UK to elect their own Senator to the French Parliament. While it may take some time for India to accede to such a demand of the Punjabis living abroad, the PPP’s decision to field NRI candidates in the coming poll is definitely a step in the right direction.


Biological weapons

Apropos article ‘Menace of biological weapons’ by PR Chari (December 31), biological warfare has been part of human conflict throughout the ages. Biological agents were used in many of the conflicts of the 20th century and their use is now reported daily in the headlines.

It is not possible to predict as to how enduring the effects would be and how they could affect the structure of society and the environment in which we live.

It is surprising that the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) in a recent conference held in Geneva failed to address potential dangers from non-state actors gaining access to dangerous disease agents.

The need of the hour is that the BTWC should enhance international security and counter bio-terrorism as well as also contribute to achieving a safer, healthier, and more prosperous world. 




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