The Hindutva plank

Sir, — The BJP has scored an emphatic win in the Assembly elections in three out of the four States. The verdict is clearly against the Congress and its policies under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and her coterie. In the elections, the BJP never took the support of the Hindutva plank; instead, it successfully highlighted good governance.

S. Narayan, Mumbai

Sir, — The BJP's dumping of the Hindutva plank does not signify a change of heart. It was a shrewd move that clicked. A pogrom suited the party in Gujarat and it went ahead with it. Ajit Jogi presumed that his tribal status was electable, and he used it. The BJP made development an issue in these elections because it calculated that it would work and it did.

Harish Venkataramani, Cincinnati, Ohio

Sir, — The BJP is now firmly in the saddle and holding the reins, and India will be taken for a bumpy ride. The opportunity appears to be opening up for the party to try out in the three new BJP States some of the populist anti-minority approaches of the Narendra Modi Government in Gujarat. Now it is up to the public, the media, and the judicial system to see that the shared national vision of millions is saved from being sacrificed, dismembered, and offered up at the feet of the victorious ideology.

Vasantha Surya, Chennai

Sir, — The article, "The rainmaker cometh" (Dec. 5) must be commended for an admirable exposition of the role of the rainmakers in Indian politics. However, their `success' should be seen in the context of the ground realities. In Gujarat, Arun Jaitley's task was made that much easier due to an already polarised polity — a task achieved through the awesome ability of Narendra Modi himself. In Madhya Pradesh, Mr. Jaitley's task was facilitated by the formidable rabblerousing abilities of Uma Bharati among other things. But why were the rainmakers not deployed in Delhi, "the microcosm of India", to use L.K. Advani's phrase?

Anthony S. Dias, Bangalore

Sir, — The article leaves the impression that Congress' loss is only due to poor electoral management.

Swapnil Jha, Begusarai, Bihar

Sir, — The voting percentage in the Assembly elections clearly shows that even in the Hindi heartland, the BJP is not the choice of the majority. There is little doubt that the Lok Sabha elections next year will be fought on a containment strategy. The BJP may have handicapped itself by scoring these runaway successes.

Tirumalai Raman, Chennai

Sir, — The Congress cannot survive on its past legacy. More dynamic thinking is required than worshiping of the party leader.

Raghunath Padiki, Hyderabad

Sir, — The writing on the wall is clear; the Sonia factor neither carries sympathy nor promotes charisma. The need of the hour is introspection by Congressmen.

Jayashri S. Raghavan, New Delhi

Sir, — The people in all the four States have given a decisive verdict, without providing scope for hung Assemblies, defections and horse trading. Winning parties should concentrate on fulfilling their election promises.

V. Rajaram, Coimbatore, T.N.

Sir, — The Election Commission has again accomplished a difficult task and demonstrated the strength of our democracy.

Ramamurthy Janga, Chennai

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