Letters to the Editor

Print edition : June 21, 2019

Election 2019

A FEW States and leaders have demonstrated that the Modi magic does not work (“Welfare state”, June 7). Naveen Patnaik’s development agenda in Odisha includes the weaker sections, and women empowerment is a top priority. The people of Odisha have reposed faith in Patnaik’s leadership rather than in Narendra Modi’s. This shows that a strong regional leader with a development and welfare agenda is more than a match for any Central leader. A similar pattern emerged in Andhra Pradesh where the YSR Congress Party led by Jagan Mohan Reddy ousted N. Chandrababu Naidu of the Telugu Desam Party.

This is a lesson for all those ruling in non-BJP States: if they want to continue in power, they should have a strong local leadership that works for the welfare of the State.

D.B.N. Murthy


THE BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi deserves kudos for coming to power for a second consecutive term (Cover Story, June 7). The BJP did well in almost all States except Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, where it flopped, and Punjab where it got fewer seats than the Congress party. However, it is a great surprise that the electorate voted the BJP back to power once again brushing aside all the unfavourable factors such as a five-year low in GDP growth (5.83 per cent in the last quarter of 2019) and, more prominently, the unemployment rate, which is at a 45-year high.

Now one looks forward to how the BJP-led NDA government will perform in its next five-year term and how it will fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the electorate, especially how it will solve the agrarian crisis and boost economic growth and employment, besides improving bilateral relations with foreign countries.

Jayant Mukherjee


IT is good that the editor’s note (June 7) instead of being a lament on the debacle of democratic forces drew positive lessons from the election and gave a line of action for the future. In spite of his brute majority, Modi cannot ride roughshod over public opinion on issues affecting them. Sooner or later, the neglected sections will understand that it is the economically and socially exclusive policies of the government that keep them poor and that caste and religion are just illusions. The people who threw out Indira Gandhi at the height of her power will not be silent observers of excesses.

The editorial concluded well by saying that despair was the luxury of the privileged and that forgetting history was injurious to democracy.

S.S. Rajagopalan


THE ill will displayed by the grand coalition of opposition parties, Rahul Gandhi’s unremitting “Chowkidar chor hai” diatribe and his sudden transformation into a devout temple-hopping Hindu cut no ice with the electorate. Modi’s relentless focus on Hindutva, national security and the Balakot strikes carried the day, while Rahul Gandhi’s desperate bid to discredit Modi on his divisive agenda came a cropper.

People thought that the introduction of goods and services tax and demonetisation were necessary to detoxify the economy and simplify tax laws. They also felt that Modi needed a second chance to fix the economy and deliver on his promises. In an election where the opposition lacked a coherent national strategy and failed to project a single leader, Rahul Gandhi faced a presidential-style campaign in which he could not measure up to Modi’s skills as an effective communicator. The combined onslaught of the Congress, the mahagathbandhan, Mamata Banerjee and N. Chandrababu Naidu had no impact on the electorate.

While the Modi juggernaut thundered through the Hindi heartland, it stopped dead in its tracks in the southern States.

Kangayam R. Narasimhan


Election Commission

THE general perception among people is that the Election Commission of India (ECI) betrayed the nation at a critical stage of the 2019 election with its arbitrary and indiscriminate decisions relating to violations of the Model Code of Conduct (“Under scrutiny”, May 10). Modi was given a clean chit in all the charges against him of violations of the Model Code of Conduct. The ECI has proved the adage “the king can do no wrong”.

The root cause for the deplorable performance of almost all the constitutional institutions lies in the system of selection and appointments. This system is weakened by limiting the pool of candidates that can be considered for positions in these institutions to a few retired top bureaucrats and judges, some of whom throughout their careers develop contacts to buttress their selfish interests by compromising their performance and ensure cosy assignments after retirement. India has no dearth of talented, meritorious candidates with strong spines and ofi mpeccable character.

M.N. Bhartiya

Alto-Porvorim, Goa

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