Two things have come to the fore in these elections. There has been muckraking and bad-mouthing. This has given us, the electorate, insight into the candidates’ biodata. As one wag put it, Harishchandra would not have contested the election. But, there are reasons why I would like to contest. For example, look at the assets of the candidates. Over a short period, all have made their pile. I too would like to be rich. These people make laws for others, but the same laws do not apply to them. They have the government and law enforcement agencies at their beck and call. The judiciary would not tangle with them. But this is democracy in India.
Your editorial “Tell the truth about Kandahar” (Mint, 17 April) is timely and has raised a few questions that people want answered from the horse’s (BJP) mouth. It’s impossible to believe the claim that L.K. Advani as home minister was not aware of the NDA government’s decision on the Kandahar hijack case.
People are still confused about the six days from 26-31 December 1999. India had achieved “partial success” when it brought down the number of terrorists to be freed from 36 to three (in response to the hijacker’s demand), but then why was the NDA government bogged down under the pressure of terrorists? Did the media hysteria and the 31 December deadline, which the government had set for itself, drive the NDA government to a rushed decision? For its the country that has paid a price. Whatever the case, the BJP or its prime ministerial candidate, Advani, confused peoples’ minds.
— Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee
Tamil Nadu chief minister M. Karunanidhi has now openly acknowledged that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader V. Prabhakaran is a true friend of his. According to him, it is only fringe elements among Tamils who have resorted to violence. The LTTE or its leader, according to Karunanidhi, cannot be termed “terrorists.” By declaring his true friendship with a declared terrorist organization and its leader, he has shed his sheep’s clothing and exhibited the true stripes of a “Tiger” supporter.
The Congress party’s dependence on Karunanidhi and his party to keep the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in power is deplorable and shameful. To safeguard its credibility the Congress should now part with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). It should show the door to the DMK from the UPA coalition. Since Karunanidhi, as the leader of the DMK party, has openly supported a banned terrorist organization and its leader, he has violated the oath he took under the Constitution.
“Independent political realities” (Mint, 20 April) raised a valid point. I do agree that till now both the BJP and the Congress party ignored the middle-class voter because they firmly believed the poorer sections came out to vote. Not many independents are strong candidates but certainly someone such as Meera Sanyal, a banker, knows perfectly well why she is in the fray. Persons such as Sanyal and G.R. Gopinath might do good for the system and society, though everyone knows this possibility is very remote. But they have made a beginning and forced the so-called national parties to rethink their strategy.
No section of society should be taken for granted by politicians.
— Bal Govind
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