Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's offer of 10 kg of free rice to all cardholders is the latest in the list of freebies. The Assembly elections seem to have made the AIADMK supremo discard her earlier avatar of a tough taskmaster. The rice offer shows Ms. Jayalalithaa does not want to lose ground in the battle for the State.

N. Sekar,
Salem, T.N.

Never before have the people of Tamil Nadu been treated to such a wide range of freebies. How I wish elections were held every year! On a serious note, I think some mechanism should be evolved to take political parties to task if they fail to implement their promises.

Ramani P. Easwaran,

We can expect many invalid votes to be cast in the Assembly elections because the poor, confused voter may cast his vote for all the parties to grab all the freebies.

V. Vijayendra Rao,
Neyveli, T.N.

The people of the State are wondering where the rice war will end. Before the elections, the parties may even end up promising three meals a day.

J. Anantha Padmanabhan,
Srirangam, T.N.

There is no talk of housing, education, employment, basic amenities, etc., in election meetings. Rice seems to be the only important thing. To cook rice, people need fuel. Where is the commitment to reduce the cost of kerosene and LPG? Similarly, if food is essential, so is shelter. Where will people keep their television sets?

S.S. Venkata Subramanian,

I am tempted to declare insolvency and grab the freebies rather than foot the bill for the extravaganzas.

R. Ashok,

I will be happy if parties or candidates promise that on coming to power, they will fix autorickshaw fares on a realistic basis and that passengers need pay only the meter rate. It is only in Tamil Nadu that meters are not operated and passengers are charged astronomical rates. Is not my expectation implementable?

A. Hariharan,

Winston Churchill said the best politician is one who is able to explain why and how he could not fulfil the promises made during the election. Soon the people of Tamil Nadu will find out who the best among the politicians is.

Ramaswamy Krishnan,
Fremont, California