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Politicians amass wealth

The comparison of the property details of some politicians of Punjab from 2012-14 shows a phenomenal increase in their wealth in the last two years, irrespective of their party or stature (“Manpreet’s assets grow by 68% in two years”, April 5). The same is the case with all politicians in the country. Thanks to the directive of the Election Commission, the politicians have to declare their assets. It will be very interesting to have a glimpse of their assets in the last few years. It is likely to prove that most politicians are looting the people and have nothing to do with the welfare or development of society. It is said that India was ‘sone ki chirhiya’ once upon a time. But it seems that it is still the same.

In earlier times, maybe it was said in the context of general public, but today it holds good for only politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen. These people are getting richer and the general public poorer. They must be held accountable for the assets amassed and their sources of income scrutinised. But, it will never happen as the law and order machinery is controlled by the politicians who protect each other.

Prof SS Verma, Longowal

Only rich in poll fray

It seems that only the rich can contest the elections. Most of the candidates have declared their assets and properties. They have also been allowed to spend lakhs on elections. From where have they collected such huge amounts of money?

The allowances they are paid from the public exchequer are not so much. All political parties are just teams which play friendly matches rather than bring anyone to book.

Dalip Singh Wasan, Patiala

Let Govt bear poll expense

The hike in the poll expenditure for a Lok Sabha candidate from Rs 34 lakh to Rs 70 lakh is as indication that it is not a game of the poor. Though the expenses have been limited, in some cases, it run into several crores with unaccounted expenditure. As such, very few honest people enter Parliament. Those who spend crores of rupees want to earn several times more during their tenure, which is possible only by corruption. The elections should be held on government expense so that the cream is elected. The candidate may be charged a nominal fee for the contest.

Sher Singh, Ludhiana

Vote for change

The voters have a golden opportunity to turn the corruption-infested democracy into one “of the people, for the people and by the people”. Each one of us has the power to be the change one wants. No one can bribe, dictate or scare you to exercise it against your wish. It is reported that money spent by all parties in these elections would surpass that spent in the US elections. This amount can perhaps pay off the debts of all farmers and they won’t have to commit suicide or it can be used to pay for the education of poor children or create jobs so that our youth do not sit idle and fall prey to drugs.

As they say, there is no free lunch. A majority of the big contributors will ask favours in return.

Manjeet Kaur, Chandigarh

Voter in a dilemma

Kuldip Nayar’s write-up “The voter faces a dilemma” (April 2) was an eye-opener. The voter is at a loss to decide whether to vote or not. Leaders of all parties are dummies. Gone are the days when the leaders were stalwarts and of stout stature. These days they are dealers in elections, tainted and turncoats. They are not faithful to their parties. How can such ‘dalbadloos’be faithful to the voters? To make matters worse, most of them believe in the dictum that might is right. How can such candidates be the sentinel of democracy?

Prof Vijay Sheel Jain, via email

Puppet politics

Today, politics is all about financing, coaxing/buttering and working like a puppet in the hands of the party high command. The candidates, greedy for money and power, stoop to please the puppeteer, i.e. the party high command.

The leaders are merely used as dummies and act as rubber stamps. Puppet politics is taking birth.

Harkanwar Jeet Singh, via email

Who wants my vote?

I will vote for the candidate who answers the following questions, otherwise I will go for NOTA:

What will be the maximum LPG, petrol and diesel prices in your government from 2014 to 2018?

What will be the bus fare per km?

What will be the electricity rates?

What will be the cost of cement, iron, sand, bricks?

What will be the maximum fees of private and government schools?

What will be the fees of graduate courses in private and government institutes from 2014 to 2018?

Will the government control fees of private schools and colleges?

How many jobs will be provided?

What will be the minimum wages?

What unemployment allowance will be provided to jobless graduates?

What length of link roads will be repaired?

What medical facilities will be provided to an individual?

How long will one have to wait on a road for a VIP’s cavalcade to pass?

How many policemen per 1,000 civilians will be there for security?

Jaswinder S Ghuman, via email

Punjab interests ignored

Apropos Arun Jaitley’s nomination from Amritsar, as an independent observer of Punjab politics since 1947, I think the SAD-BJP combine should be defeated because the Jan Sangh created a rift between Hindus and Sikhs by disowning their mother tongue -- Punjabi -- in the census of 1961 which resulted in a truncated Punjabi-speaking state in 1966 and the intractable problem of Chandigarh. SAD, led by Badals, has repeatedly failed to protect the interests of Punjab.

When Bhindrawala turned the holy Golden Temple complex into a fortress, SAD leaders did nothing and it resulted in the catastrophic Operation Bluestar, killing of PM by her guards in revenge and large-scale murder/butchery of innocent Sikhs in Delhi and other places in November, 1984. It was left to Amarinder Singh as Chief Minister to muster the moral courage to annul the partisan and unjust river waters accord thrust on Punjab.

Supinder Bedi, Dehradun

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