Empower EC

Refer to ‘Curbing freebies’; the apex court has rightly reprimanded political parties for not taking a stand on the issue of freebies. It is time to prevent the parties from committing economic harakiri and draining taxpayers’ money to grab power. The Election Commission is a toothless tiger; it should be empowered to take action against political parties indulging in such practices. It should be vested with more legal powers to impose penalties, de-register parties and declare irrational populist measures as deceptive acts to woo voters.

Anil vinayak, Amritsar

Road to power

The late C. Rajagopalachari criticised corrupt practices of political parties during elections in his book Rescue Democracy from Money Power. He was particularly opposed to transporting voters to polling booths in cars, calling it ‘last-minute bribery’ and suggested instead that poll officials visit voters’ homes and collect their votes! One wonders, what would have been the statesman’s reaction were he alive today. No one objects to the freebies provided to the deserving poor. But, the intent of politicians behind promising the moon is not economic uplift, but the desperation to capture power. The parties must submit their manifestos to a panel of independent economists who would allow only viable promises.

V Jayaraman, Chennai

Ban freebie culture

Freebies are a bribe to voters at the time of elections. AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal is promising Rs 3,000 pension to every elderly person if his party comes to power in Gujarat. Nobody knows from where so much money will come, even if his party wins. The Supreme Court must issue strict guidelines to the EC to ban this freebie culture.

Ramesh Gupta, Narwana

Poor economics

Freebies have become a major tool in the hands of political parties to woo voters. It is bad economics and a drain on the already strained exchequer. Parties make unreasonable promises without specifying the sources of funding. Voters need to understand that one way or other, the money will be siphoned out of their own pockets. All public welfare schemes should also be adequately budgeted for.

Ravi Sharma, Dhariwal

No shortcut to safety

Refer to ‘Safety first’; safety should not be sacrificed for the sake of completing a task hurriedly. A work procedure must be followed to comply with safety standards. Safety rules exist in all work environments. We resort to shortcuts sometimes to complete the work quickly. Also, workers should be careful about not reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Any kind of distraction can cause an accident.

Om Parkash Sandhu, Naya Nangal

Tenure of CJI

This refers to ‘CJI Ramana recommends UU Lalit as his successor’; the tenure of CJI Ramana is 16 months, and the next incumbent Justice Lalit will have a tenure of less than three months. Generally, a person due to retire in less than three months will be preparing for post-retirement life and the organisation does not expect much from him or her. A person needs to have a service of at least three years to make a noticeable contribution to an organisation. A clause may be included in the selection procedure of the CJI that the candidate needs to have a service of three years left. This clause can be met either by selecting such a person, ignoring seniority, or extending the service of the candidate selected on seniority.

O Prasada Rao, Hyderabad

Flag disposal

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Independence, the government is propagating the catchy slogan, ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’, and expects the hoisting of 20 crore flags on the day. How much feeling of nationalism or enthusiasm this would generate is a hypothetical question, but the main issue would be the disposal of so many flags after the event. Will the flags be disposed of as scrap, or has the government issued guidelines on their disposal after August 15?

Jai Prakash Gupta, Ambala Cantt

Drones for surveillance

Reference to ‘Rs 13L looted from Jalandhar bank’; earlier, Rs 35 lakh had been looted from a bank in Patiala. The incidents point to the lack of security and surveillance. Law enforcement agencies should make use of drones in sensitive locations, such as banks, religious places and government buildings. Drones can provide wider coverage and continuous monitoring can prevent illegal activities.

Raminder Bhatti, Chandigarh

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