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Keen contest for govt formation

It has been pointed out in the news item ‘Poll outcome: Small parties can make big difference’ (January 12) that the votes polled by small parties and Independents will determine the poll outcome. They can play a crucial role in government formation in case of a hung Assembly. Keeping in view the statistical jumble and the ground reality, the possibility of a hung Assembly seems to be on the cards.

Congress has gone in poll mode in a state of euphoria and overconfidence thinking that BJP is down and out and their fight is mainly with Akalis on 94 seats but at the ground level, situation seems to be a bit different. Congress was in the best position in 2009. During the Lok Sabha polls, Congress got 45.25 per cent votes whereas NDA (Akali Dal + BJP) polled 43.9 per cent votes. A difference of 1.35 per cent votes resulted in difference of 13 seats. Others got about 11 per cent votes.

In 2012, Others have consolidated under Manpreet Singh Badal so their vote share is likely to increase to 15-16 percent resulting in positive swing of 4-5 percent in their favour. They may end up winning 7-8 seats. Therefore, there will be a negative swing both for Congress and NDA but it will be bigger for Congress and smaller for NDA because of spate of scams, price rise and the Lokpal imbroglio. The anti-incumbency factor against Akali+BJP in the state and Congress in the Centre would also weigh in favour of the smaller parties.

In the 2007 Assembly elections, Congress got 41 per cent votes and won 44 seats whereas NDA got 45.5 per cent votes and won 69 seats. Others got 13.5 per cent votes and won 5 seats. In 2012, there is going to be a positive swing in vote percentage for Congress and bigger negative swing for NDA.

Congress is likely to get slightly more than 41 per cent but significantly less than 45.25 per cent. NDA will get less than 43.9 per cent votes. The fight between the Congress and NDA is on 110 seats. Since both of them are likely to get locked between a narrow margin of 41 and 43.9 percent votes, it can be anybody’s game.

The post-election scenario will be very interesting. If no party gets a majority and the Congress emerges as the single largest party with NDA as the largest pre-poll alliance, the role of the Governor would be crucial. The smaller parties and Independents will hold the balance.

Dr TIRATH GARG, Ferozpur

Pensioners angry

The ruling alliance in Punjab is contesting the Assembly elections on the issue of achievement as well as development. The newspaper advertisements mention recruitments made in different departments and the bonanza given to employees of several departments. In fact, the employee unions who protested through consistent agitations succeeded in getting favorable pay grades.

On the other hand, the Punjab Government cared two hoots about their former employees, the pensioners. Neither could the pensioners bring themselves on one platform to protest, nor were they fit enough physically to demonstrate against the government.

Every pensioner has been denied arrear of travel concession, running into thousands. Earlier, the pensioners were paid arrears of travel concession on revision of their pension. The government should also enlist this as its achievement as it will help the cash-strapped government at the cost of infirm, aged and ailing pensioners.

BR PREENJA, Amritsar

Exercise restraint

This is with reference to the editiorial ‘Blaming the victim’ (January 3). Shakespeare wrote ‘Fraility thy name is woman’. According to the Old Testament, Adam felt lonely in the Garden of Eden and implored God for a companion which He accepted and created Eve out of his rib. Following this, man flaunted his primacy. Man has exploited his physical strength. Biologically, woman suffered in comparison.

People wear different types of clothes in different parts of the world depending on the weather, culture and social ways and mores. Morality changes from place to place and time to time. The medieval mindset calls for a radical change attuned to the changing time and need. Both the sexes should exercise restraint as members of a civilized society. No formal dress code can be prescribed.

For a dress code for women, whether at work or social functions, the matter should best be left to the women folk.

V.I.K SHARMA, Jalandhar

Punish the guilty

Total disregard of traffic rules resulted in the death of 12 school children in a school van-truck collision in Ambala. The tragedy shattered the families of the children killed. As mentioned in the editorial ‘Innocent lives lost’ (January 4) flouting of safety guidelines, as enunciated by the Supreme Court, by school buses goes on unchecked. The corrupt police and district administration officials are only concerned with collecting bribe money from the transport mafia. Myopic vision of officials concerned failed to check 29 children stuffed in an 11-seater school van plying daily on the same route right under the nose of the policemen.

The principal of the school is responsible for the tragedy, who allowed the children to be packed like chickens in the school van. Instead of doling out money to aggrieved families, the Haryana Government should take strict action against the erring officials.


Laughter refreshes mind

Laughter helps ease tension as reflected in the middle ‘Laughing matters’ (December 28). Blessed are those who smile even in distress and endure it. A bard has rightly said: “Ya to deewaana hansey ya too jisey taufeeq dey, varna is dunya mein reh kar muskra sakta hai kaun.”

Humour is a great gift of God. It oils the creaking wheels of life. It reflects the taste and wit of a person. Humour nourishes the heart, depression corrodes it. Those having a good sense of humour stay cheerful.

They laugh and make others laugh by their joyful banter and sidesplitting anecdotes. Witty remarks make the conversation pleasant and interesting. ‘What is this life if full of care; we have no time to stand and stare’. Yet one must snatch some moments to laugh one’s head off and refresh the mind.

A humorous person cannot suppress himself even when an unkind remark is made about him. One day Mirza Ghalib was sitting in a book shop. An Iranian youth asked for a collection of his verses saying, “een qurrumsaaq khoob mey goyad” (This cuckold writes very good poetry). The poet let out a loud guffaw and said, “Khuda kee qasam sachchi daad aaj hee mili hai.” (By God I have received honest praise only today)




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