As Neena Vyas has rightly said in her article “The money minefields of Karnataka” (Nov. 3), the dividing line between money and politics in India is getting finer with each passing day. It is shocking that two businessmen who are Ministers in Karnataka are trying to shake the State government with their money and muscle power and the BJP’s central leadership is trying to appease them. L.K. Advani who has opposed the use of money power in politics should not allow the Reddy brothers to hold the party to ransom lest such tendencies should lead to its destruction in Karnataka.
The drama being enacted in Karnataka is hampering good governance and relief work for flood victims. Two valuable lessons need to be learnt from the episode. A Chief Minister should be democratically elected by the members of the legislature, not imposed by the party high command. And once elected, he should continue for the full term of five years. He should be replaced only if a majority of his party legislators write to the high command giving proper reasons and the party leadership is convinced that the demand is justified. Unless all parties bring about such constructive changes in their set-up, dissidence and petty politicking will thrive.
C. Felix Rozario,
The manner in which the mining tsars of Karnataka are holding the BJP government to ransom is hardly surprising. The tactics adopted by the party in blatantly drawing on their money and muscle power to win the elections and accommodating two of the family as Ministers shows the parliamentary system’s subservience to the moneyed lobby. Taken with the fact that many of our MPs are crorepatis and sections of the media are in cahoots with them, this confirms that the present form of democracy is actually a dictatorship of the rich.
It is the politics of not only Karnataka but also Andhra Pradesh that is being controlled and dominated by money. The struggle by Jagan Mohan Reddy supporters to make him chief minister is meant to protect the business and financial interests of YSR supporters.
As long as a voter exercises his franchise with cash in one hand and the ballot in the other, none can do anything to prevent business interests from influencing elections. The future generations will have to bear the brunt of political corruption. And we will be blamed for our tolerance, silence and inefficiency in tackling the politics of money and muscle power.