Letters

Letters to the Editor — March 1, 2021

Going to polls

With the announcement of the dates for the Assembly elections, hectic political activities have begun, more so in Tamil Nadu, where it will face an election without the tall leaders in either side of the Dravidian parties. The field has become a free-for-all to forge alliances, and level all sorts of accusations. Money and muscle power have eroded the electoral system, with variations in only degrees. The declaration of assets has remained only an ornamental addition. What then is the choice before the electorate if it is to choose between either a corrupt A or unscrupulous B candidate?

There needs to be an electoral reforms commission comprising eminent personalities to study the reforms needed on electoral donations received, multiplication of parties, free gifts on the eve of the election, sanctity of election manifestos that are often changed to forge strange alliances by power-hungry political leaders, and, finally, a right to recall the choice.

V.N. Ramachandran,

Brookfield, Wisconsin, U.S.

It is welcome that the Model Code of Conduct for the governments concerned and competing political parties have come into force. Perhaps, a review of rules and practices, on the period of the model code — for increasing it to six months — would be ideal, for, government-financed election-oriented media advertisements, intended to advance the prospects of ruling parties, are a usual scenario in our democratic governance. An incidental advantage to voters is that they would be saved from such advertisements, most of the pieces being boring, allergic and nearly breeding contempt. The savings to the state exchequer would really be huge. One hopes that the Election Commission of India would take up the matter at an appropriate time.

P.R.V Raja,

Pandalam, Kerala

Though the dates for the Assembly elections have been released, health aspects as far as polling officials are concerned, do not seem to have been considered. For example, in Kerala, the polling officials have been asked to get themselves vaccinated from February 25, which only gives them a maximum of 39 days before the polling date. The government, earlier, insisted on a minimum of 28 days plus 14 days, which is 42 days for immunity against the novel coronavirus to set in. This ill-planned move will not help the government’s effort to flatten the peak, but instead cause additional peaks in the infection curve.

Aravind B. Menon,

Puthenchira, Thrissur, Kerala

With the dates having been announced, it calls for outmost vigil by the Election Commission of India.

In Tamil Nadu, for instance, bribing voters has become habitual before and on polling day. The specified amount for defray in the election campaign should be spelt out and those found violating this should be taken to task, sans fear or favour. Hoardings and posters should not be used for campaigns. Strict observance of the timings allowed for the electioneering campaign is important.

Mani Nataraajan,

Chennai

 

Dissent rumbles

The vacillating stand of the party bigwigs in naming a new president for the Congress party has obviously not gone down well with the members of the dissenting ‘G23’ faction in the party, who have now obviously decided to up the ante. (Page 1, “Cong. rift in Congress widens with ‘G23’ meet in Jammu”, February 28). If the meeting was to take stock of the situation, it was also an occasion for the speakers to remind the party brass that ignoring senior partymen would prove detrimental to the party’s interests. There is no doubt that the ‘G23’ have the party’s interests at heart, and that their intentions are bonafide, but their approach might only lead to their being isolated and blackballed in the days to come.

C.V. Aravind,

Bengaluru

The silence of the party leadership creates the perception that there is no interest in rejuvenating a shrivelling Congress. Rahul Gandhi, though reluctant to accept the president’s post, is busy spearheading criticism against the government. Is there no one suitable in the grand old party to lead the way?

D. Sethuraman,

Chennai

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 3:16:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-march-1-2021/article33956689.ece

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