There appears to be motivated criticism in some sections of the media of P.A. Sangma’s decision to contest the presidential election. The argument is that the numbers are not on his side, hence he should not contest. This suggestion makes a mockery of the democratic principle of contest. In an election, only one candidate can be successful. But people do contest to make their points of view known.

When Lakshmi Saigal contested against Abdul Kalam, the media never reacted this way. Why criticise Mr. Sangma now?

Duggaraju Srinivasa Rao,

Vijayawada

Mr. Sangma’s invitation to UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee for a debate on a range of issues, particularly the economy, is welcome (“Congress shrugs off Sangma’s demand for debate,” June 23). Mr. Mukherjee is not yet the President. Therefore, the Congress stand that the President does not manage the economy is only an excuse to avoid a debate. If democracy is to flourish, all issues should be discussed and the air cleared, if necessary.

A. Ramanathan,

Chennai

Many Presidents have remained mere figureheads, giving speeches, giving away awards, chairing functions or travelling abroad. People may not vote directly for the President but they surely have a right to know the credentials of the candidates. Mr. Sangma’s call is a step in the right direction.

Shankarnarayan Bhat,

Bangalore

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