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Rahulís acerbic remarks have saved Congress

Irrespective of the fact that Rahul Gandhi's remarks have denigrated the Prime Minister and embarrassed the government, he has certainly outwitted the BJP, which wanted to score brownie points by first supporting the negation of the Supreme Court judgment disqualifying legislators who were convicted and later backtracking from it. Whether politically motivated or not, Rahul Gandhi's acerbic condemnation has saved the government, and particularly the Congress, from the ignominy of being dubbed a protector of the predatory and arrogant politicians.

Though it may annoy some alliance partners, it will surely give the impression that the government is sincerely interested in cleaning politics by purging it of criminals and checking the use of money and muscle power in elections. If the Congress has lost its credibility due to rampant corruption, various scams and economic crisis, the BJP is equally infamous for continuously disrupting the parliamentary proceedings and stalling the passing of some important Bills. As both the principal parties are vying with each other for winning the 2014 general election, the prudent electorate will finally choose between Rahul Gandhi's image-building exercise and Narendra Modi's charisma.



Rahul Gandhi has done a great disservice to the party he belongs to by his uncalled-for outbursts on the controversial ordinance pertaining to safeguarding the criminal law-makers. 

A party's decision on any issue emerges out of thorough deliberations, churning of various viewpoints, suggestions and objections of members. When finally a decision is taken, it becomes an irrefutable line of action. Rahul Gandhi has breached, nay trampled his party's code of conduct for which he owes an explanation.

Many Congress leaders, young and old, were feeling on the same lines as Rahul Gandhi was, but were disciplined enough not to utter against the party's decision and were perhaps waiting for an opportunity to say their mind within the high walls of the party. Had any other leader done what Rahul Gandhi did, he would have been thrown out of the party by now. Rahul Gandhi, therefore, deserves to be treated on the same lines if the party considers itself to be democratic.

Secondly, the words used by him to express his anguish were most appalling, exhibiting a dictatorial mindset. It is the office of Prime Minister which will have to bear the brunt of the 'sublime' language. The office of Prime Minister has been desecrated by none other than the person who may, in future, adorn the very chair he has abused.

L R Sharma, Sundernagar


My question to you and the nation is: Would these remarks have carried weight had these been said by somebody other than Rahul Gandhi?

J S DUGAL, via email

Sidhuís concern

I applaud Navjot Singh Sidhu for showing concern for his constituency (Amritsar). I am glad that he has raised his ire against the Punjab government for ignoring his constituency. He evidently pulled the ground from under the feet of the so-called infallible Badal government. It worked so magically that the otherwise cash-strapped government came to its rescue with all kinds of denials and despicable realities to save the day for them. I appreciate Sidhu's efforts to raise the problems of his constituency and trying to solve them. Such fearlessness and uprightness is the need of the hour to bridle untamed liars (politicians).


VIP security

Elaborate security arrangements for VIPs have become more of a status symbol which is often provided whimsically using exaggerated threat perception rather than based on intelligence reports. There is a growing clamour for getting VIP security for even nondescript politicians too. The need is to rationalise what has hitherto been a flagrant state patronage network.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal's pragmatic approach of paring the security cover is a plausible action if followed in letter and in spirit. The cover of many more should be whittled in subsequent screenings. It will enable the state to ameliorate the image and curtail the crime rate with more policing on the streets.

VIP security has become a nuisance for the aam aadmi. The debt-ridden exchequer is further burdened by unnecessary security covers to many politicians. Leaders should set an example by using minimum security guards. The Israel prime minister is one of the most threatened politicians but people barely notice his guards. Why can't we follow/learn from these leaders?


Onion prices

The outrageous prices of onion and other vegetables have upset the common man's budget. The Centre and state governments have failed miserably to take punitive action against hoarders and black marketers indulging in unfair trade practices. On the other hand, the government is pretending to be very concerned and serious about the issue and is promising to crack down on the culprits. But the fact is that hoarders are operating in connivance with officials and hence they are not held.

B M RAWLLEY, Zirakpur

A historic judgment

This refers to the news item 'SC gives voters right to reject candidates' (September 28). At present, our electoral system does not reflect the will of the voters. This is just a routine exercise of either choosing from the equally meritorious/non-meritorious candidates or keeping yourself aloof from the process, i.e. not voting for anybody, which is not at all the way to express disillusionment with the system. Hence, the frustration and anger capture the minds of the people which finally results in violence.

Therefore, I humbly propose a few suggestions. A candidate should only be declared a winner in the Assembly or parliamentary elections if he or she polls at least 50 per cent votes. For this purpose the negative votes (NOTA) should also be counted towards the total number of votes polled. This will definitely deter the parties from fielding candidates with a tarnished image and find people with a clean image and a good character.

In case, 50 per cent or more votes are polled in favour of NOTA (none of the above), the elections should be rescheduled by disallowing all the earlier candidates with altogether a new list of fresh and better candidates.

Fortunately, there is still a thin layer of idealistic and dedicated leadership in every political party of India. Only the true nationalistic leaders who transcend all the petty considerations of caste, language, culture, region, religion or creed should be fielded by our political parties.

H R GANDHAR, New Delhi 



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