L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Undue favour to MLAs

I am surprised at the wisdom of the Election Commission in allowing sitting MLAs to contest elections for MPs without first submitting their resignations. Is it not an undue favour? Specially considering that a government employee cannot contest any election without resigning from the job because it is considered that one can influence voters by using his official post. What about the MLAs?

Moreover, the candidate is allowed to retain the MLA’s post if he does not get elected as an MP. Only if elected, is he required to give up either of the two seats.

Natural justice demands that there should be no discrimination.

Dr Naresh Raj, Patiala

Let them pay for 2 fights

Even some popular leaders fight elections from two places. They are not sure of their popularity. They have to surrender one seat, if both seats are won. The re-election of the vacated seat involves a lot of time and financial burden on the tax paying public. The Constitution/rules should be amended to stipulate that anyone who fights elections from two places must, in advance, deposit the full expenses towards the cost of the election for one seat. It will be a deterrent to the politicians.

L.J. Singh, Amritsar

Corporate poll funding

The channelisation of corporate finances towards political parties is evident from the fact that the Income Tax Act allows deduction under Section 80 GGB to companies making donations to political parties without limit. This hints at nurturing a political-corporate nexus which is bound to blossom at the cost of welfare and prosperity of the State. Undue favours are obviously demanded by the companies making such donations and catered to accordingly as a reciprocal gesture by the persons in saddle or aspiring to be in saddle. Let the deeds of political leaders do the talking. Political rallies, on which a major chunk of such donations is said to be expended, should be banned.

Donations should be allowed only with the clear-cut welfare schemes at the target. Such schemes should highlight the name of the political party and the company initiating it. Such regulations can be amended to the Companies Act, incorporating mandatory spending of a stipulated percentage of corporate profits on the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) programmes.


Road show woes

Candidates in poll fray undertake road shows with a huge number of followers to impress and woo voters without a care for the ordinary people. Caught in jams, they reach their destinations late. Especially affected are ambulances carrying patients. TheElection Commission should make restrictions on road shows. Specific places must be earmarked to hold rallies during elections.

Rajinder K Arora, Kurukshetra

(Un)holy commandment

On which statistics has the Akal Takht Jathedar said that the Sikh population is decreasing, prompting him to order the four-child norm per couple? There has been a manifold increase in the population of our country, including that of the Sikhs, since Independence. Many Sikhs have migrated to other countries and some do not don the Sikh appearance.

What if someone advises them to have more than one wife to stem the imagined decline? Only planned growth and control of population can lead to progress and prosperity. Sikhs are well known for their forward and innovative thinking. They should abhor retrogressive ideas.

L.J.S. Panesar, via email

Rail link better

Apropos the news item “Chander promises to link by tunnels” (March 28), upgradation and extension of the railway line is more important than the tunnels which can usher in multi-pronged developments. It will have strategic benefit of easy movement of army units and hardware towards Leh-Ladakh near the China border. Tourists, who throng the area to visit religious and historical places of Kangra will find the railways more comfortable to travel. There will also be development in commerce of agro products of this region.

L R Sharma, Sundarnagar

Rain hits farmers

Unseasonal rain along with fast winds and hailstorms has caused heavy damage to crops, fruits, vegetables this year in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Climate change showed its colours earlier during the floods in Badrinath and Kedarnath.

The rainfall this year is more than double of last year. Farmers are demanding compensation from the government. Different manuals for different states have been made in order to estimate the losses. Crop insurance should be increased and made mandatory in areas prone to natural disasters. There should be no politics on this issue.

Nikhil Sharma, Bilaspur

Give funds for NH

This has reference to the news item “Centre rejects NH-20 four-laning proposal” (March 17) regarding the Pathankot-Mandi NH-20. Lack of funds is cited as the reason for the suspension of the work. This highway is an extremely important road between North India and Leh-Ladakh. The Indian Army had used this axis to induct essential defence logistics when the Dras-Kargil sector of the Srinagar-Leh road was bombarded by the Pakistan Army in 1999. When this alternate route to Ladakh maybe required again, none can say!

It is thus essential that the government cuts expenditure on half-true advertisements displaying bigwigs' portraits and make funds available for national highways.

KL Noatay, Shimla

Food for wild animals

Growing of fruit trees in and around forests will not only meet the food needs of wild animals but also lessen the woes of the small farmers. Kudos to the Chamba Welfare Association for taking up the issue with the state government.

Besides, more wild animal sanctuaries and butterfly parks should be built to help the natives and boost tourism in the valley.

Shashi Thakur, Kullu

Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com



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