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Modi makes waves in Bangalore

The overwhelming response to Narendra Modi’s election rally in Bangalore has only reconfirmed his status as the most popular leader in the BJP. His oratory skills and charisma backed by his track record of good governance in Gujarat make him a crowd-puller. 

Buoyed by the success of Modi’s rally in Bangalore, the BJP is planning to ask him to campaign in Mangalore and Belgaum also. In the hindsight, the party must be thinking that it would have been better had it brought Modi to campaign in Karnataka much earlier and more intensively. With the BJP government in the state on a back foot, owing to corruption and bickering, party supporters desperately want a dynamic leader of Modi’s caliber to bail it out of mess.

That the people at a rally in Bangalore wanted to listen to Modi and not Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and senior leader Ananth Kumar, both from Karnataka, is a testimony to the fact that the Gujarat strongman is a leader of national stature and eminently preferred by the masses as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.

It may be too late for even Modi to effect a big voter-shift in favour of the BJP in Karnataka given the record of its local leaders, but his popularity as a national leader has certainly increased. The BJP’s Central leadership and the RSS will be closely watching the acceptability and ascent of Modi on the national scene. So Modi’s campaigning in Karnataka elections may or may not help the BJP’s chances of returning to power, but it is certainly helping Modi.


Vote-bank politics

The decision of the UPA government to not levy wealth tax on farmland is appreciable. It has come as a huge relief for farmers. However, a credit war has begun between the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Congress as leaders of both parties are claiming that they have been instrumental in convincing Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram to not levy wealth tax on agriculture land.

It clearly reveals how parties do things to woo the electorate. The politicians are not bothered about the travails of the common man. They are just busy in the vote-bank politics. They just want to prove themselves good in the eyes of the people so that they are voted to power.


Third Front unviable

This is in reference to the article ‘The Third Front idea’ (May 1) by Kuldip Nayar. Today, the common man in India is fairly well-conversant with the electoral process.

However, the election results in the last two decades clearly show that the two major political parties in the country, the Congress and the BJP could not reach the magic figure of 273 seats in the Lok Sabha on their own. Hence, they were forced to form coalition governments with support from the so-called fringe political partners from different region, religion, caste, gender or even ideology – but, invariably only after the latter were able to extract exorbitant benefits and posts for their party leader (s).

For obvious reasons, therefore, such institutionalised malpractices resulted in trust-deficit and bitterness among the coalition partners – especially, where their respective political interests got ignored or inadvertently clashed. Slowly, such conflicts led to overall poor governance, lack of accountability and transparency. Innumerable scams and wide-spread corruption cases are now surfacing – all of which are being highlighted by our media, almost on a daily basis. Thus, in the absence of a charismatic leader, the idea of a Third Front-led government either at the Centre is not at all a good option.


Happy showers

This refers to the editorial ‘Respite for UPA: At least monsoon is favourable’ (April 29). The IMD’s prediction of a normal monsoon this year is indeed a good news for the entire country.

The monsoon remains the mother of all economic indicators. Inflation, including food inflation, has been a big concern for investors over the past few years. A monsoon that delivers timely and normal rainfalls in key agricultural regions will boost production and greatly help in curbing prices.

A good monsoon will also ease pressure on the Reserve Bank of India, which has been hiking interest rates to fight inflation for more than a year.

The Centre will certainly be in a relaxing mood as the country will not have to witness a chaotic situation due to drought. No money will have to be given to any state by the Centre for the dry conditions in the country. Normal monsoon will favour the government as people would be satisfied and happy because there will not be any significant rise in prices of essential commodities. Surely, all this will give the much-desired respite to the UPA government at the Centre.

RK KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Punish Sarabjit’s attackers

With reference to editorial ‘The Sarabjit case’ (May 1), I fully agree that his attackers in Kot Lakhpat Jail need to be identified and punished. Despite the fact that Pakistan refused to own Ajmal Kasab, involved in  deadly 26/11 attacks, and did not even come forward to claim his body, it has taken revenge by orchestrating a brutal attack on Sarabjit inside the jail.  No doubt, the relations between the two countries are bitter, but Indians still have human values.

The recent case of a 16-year-old Pakistani girl, who crossed over to India but was safely handed over to Pakistan Rangers, is an apt example of our goodness. BSF sleuths took the girl into custody after she had come 100 m inside Indian territory in Fazilka sector. On being asked, the girl said her name was Sidhra and she was daughter of Sirag Mian of Chilli Sau village in Kasur district of Pakistan. She said she left home after an argument with her father. After thorough verification and cross-checking with the Pakistan Rangers, the girl was handed over to them. Pakistan has, however, never cared for our goodwill gestures.



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