That politicians have no respect for anyone is well known. But Opposition leader Sushma Swaraj's comment that Vice-President Hamid Ansari does not have the stature to be President (“Keep things dignified,” May 3) has crossed all limits. It has prompted the Janata Dal (United), one of the NDA's strongest allies, to distance itself from the BJP leader's view.
Mr. Ansari is not only a great academician but also one of the finest diplomats India has ever had. He does not need Ms Swaraj's praise but every individual should be respected for his achievements.
Ms Swaraj has indeed done disservice to herself and the BJP by saying that Mr. Ansari does not have the stature to become President. This was not expected of a responsible Opposition leader. It is unfortunate that despite the criticism she has invited, she has not regretted her comment. Let us hope good sense will prevail on politicians while speaking on vital issues.
‘Open' debates and discussions on the candidature of the next President are unnecessary in the first place. Although political parties have every right to support and second candidates of their choice, it is unparliamentary to debate the merits and demerits of possible candidates in the open. Did Mr. Ansari approach any party for support or authorise any party to canvas for him?
It appears that our parties are more interested in airing their differences in the open rather than coming to a consensus on a presidential candidate who can uphold the importance of the august office.
M. Somasekhar Prasad,