In an article, Mint, 3 May, on corruption in the power sector, there’s a suggestion for a written Citizen’s Charter framed in consultation with consumers and consumer organizations. You add that it should list the time taken for basic processes and penalties for not adhering to this. I wish to point out that DDA has one such citizen charter, with such a time frame specified. But, there is no penalty clause and there is no adherence to time schedules in reality. It seems that the charter has been framed just for cosmetic purposes. I had asked DDA staff whether they knew about their citizen’s charter and they voiced their ignorance. Can a consumer compel an organization to a have citizen’s charter with a penalty clause with support from consumer bodies?
In Quick Edit, Mint, 12 May, you have rightly observed that the vote to Mayawati is a vote for governance. Although UP is the heart of the country, with the largest population, the state is in virtual shambles due to continued neglect by successive governments. Citizens want decent governance with basic amenities and reasonably good employment opportunities. Generations of young men and women have been cheated by politicians and this time, they have reposed faith in Mayawati.
The real test for Mayawati starts now. She will find that managing a government is much tougher than winning an election. She will have to be conscious of the aspirations of voters who would be waiting eagerly for some positive action. People are impatient and Mayawati can’t expect a long honeymoon with voters. She should remember that if she fails them, UP will be in a total mess and the entire country will be the loser.
– Shivkumar D. Israni
That “UP results spell trouble for Congress”, 12 May, is absolutely correct, but we should not ignore that BSP’s victory in the UP elections is a clear verdict against uncontrolled corruption, law and order problems and the administrative inefficiency of the SP government. The UP assembly poll results were unexpected after the past 14 years, having gone in favour of a single party—BSP. Mayawati’s resounding majority was due largely to her shift from Dalits to Brahmins. Playing the caste-creed card is nothing new in the Hindu heartland but now it seems all castes and religions are truly voicing their opinion, and not acting merely as pawns in other hands. It indicates a new beginning for the state’s moribund polity, and for Indian politics.
– Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee
The results of the UP elections should be a wake-up call for all major political parties, including the constituents of the UPA, which are looking at the Lok Sabha election of 2009. First, the electorate is highly intolerant of misrule and law and order issues, and second, it couldn’t care less for grand accomplishments decades ago. Their present and future are more important. It’s worth noting Mayawati’s well-thought-of poll strategy, as she decided to break free of her traditional Dalit electoral base and appeal to the upper castes, including Brahmins. A lesson to other political parties eagerly wooing the SC/ST electorate with reservation policies that only add to social tensions.
– Navneet Dhawan
Is it the result of “Mayajaal” of Maya (wati)? She has come to lead the state without any quotas—so, high calibre needs no reservation in any field. She should now make UP free of corruption. Cases such as The Taj Heritage Corridor and disproportionate assets must be cleared. With women at the helm in UP, Delhi with one as the de facto Prime Minister, men are at the mercy of women in politics. Who says women are the weaker sex?