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Published : Jun 02, 2023 16:08 IST - 6 MINS READ


THE Congress’ comprehensive win in the Karnataka Assembly election is a triumph of democracy (Cover Story, June 2). This victory was necessary as India seems to be heading for one-party domination, which does not augur well for the nation.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra is one of the reasons, if not the only one, that contributed to the Congress victory, which proved that determination and strong campaigning are effective. The Janata Dal (Secular) was shown its rightful place. Parties with only a few seats extract their pound of flesh in the name of support. The BJP campaign depended heavily on the Prime Minister and failed to address critical issues. The Hindutva card was played too often.

The Congress should not become complacent because of this huge win; it needs to fulfil its promises and fight hard in the 2024 Lok Sabha election. Even if it does not win, it needs to be a strong opposition force.

Balasubramaniam Pavani

Secunderabad, Telangana

The Congress leaders D.K. Shivakumar, Rahul Gandhi, and Siddaramaiah in Bengaluru on May 20.

The Congress leaders D.K. Shivakumar, Rahul Gandhi, and Siddaramaiah in Bengaluru on May 20. | Photo Credit: MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP

AS predicted by many, the Congress won with a comfortable majority. However, the power struggle and factional fighting over government formation took away much of the sheen of the otherwise glorious verdict. This victory will boost the morale of the fragmented opposition that is attempting to forge a united front at the national level for the 2024 Lok Sabha election. However, how the power-sharing formula between Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar works is likely to be a critical factor in deciding the stability and functionality of the government.

T.N. Venugopalan

Kochi, Kerala

THE election results mark the logical culmination of the seething resentment of voters against the outgoing government, which was mired in corruption. In contrast with other States where the Congress is in a shambles, its organisational structure in Karnataka is strong, and the party presented a unified face. The local issues the Congress raised as regards rampant corruption and the non-performance of the BJP resonated well with the electorate. The non-interference of the Congress high command in the candidate selection process further contributed to the win. This was in sharp contrast to the BJP whose high command selected candidates disregarding the opinion of its State leaders.

The results should serve as a wake-up call for the opposition parties to get their act together. However, it is too far-fetched to conclude from these results that the Congress is on the comeback trail for 2024.

B. Suresh Kumar

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

THE Cover Story analysed the conditions in the State before and after the election and highlighted the formidable challenges the Congress will face when it tries to execute the guarantees it made to voters. The results confirmed the views of experts and laypeople alike that the election would usher in a new chapter both for Karnataka and for the country and that the BJP could be beaten in 2024. The myth of the invincibility of the BJP has been dispelled. The Congress needs to shed its hubris, which it betrayed in the way it gave invitations for the swearing-in ceremony, and the government has to walk the talk to fulfil the promised five guarantees in their entirety. Otherwise, it will lose credibility, and voters will turn against it in future elections.

B. Rajasekaran


THE Congress victory was predestined because of the allegations of corruption against Basavaraj Bommai’s government, anti-incumbency, and the package of five benefits the party promised voters. It may be an uphill task for Karnataka, which is burdened by a fiscal deficit, to provide these benefits. But with meticulous planning, the new government may be able to come up the finances for the additional expenditure.

The BJP won Assembly elections in Karnataka in 2004, 2008, and 2018 by dividing voters with its hate speech and slogans of hatred and polarisation on religious lines, but it became unpopular because of corruption and divisive politics. It is clear that people want a clean and corruption-free government and good governance with the focus on the aspirations of the poor and common man.

M.Y. Shariff


Poison gas

Personnel of an NDRF team in the Giaspura area of Ludhiana on April 30.

Personnel of an NDRF team in the Giaspura area of Ludhiana on April 30. | Photo Credit: NDRF Twitter/ANI

NEGLIGENCE caused the recent gas poisoning in a crowded area of Ludhiana in Punjab that claimed innocent lives (“Life in a hellhole”, June 2). Unfortunately, such incidents are only noticed when there are a large number of fatalities. Several gas leaks occurred across the country last year, many of them linked to the use of ammonia in small-scale industries. The question that arises is, how can such occurrences be avoided? India’s many environmental laws and burdensome regulations are ineffective. Also, carrying out inspections is not the solution. New ways to monitor pollution should be evaluated making use of technological advances. When it comes to regulating pollution, governments cannot afford to drag their feet.

Vijaykumar H.K.

Raichur, Karnataka

Bhopal gas disaster

THE Bhopal-based activist Rachna Dhingra ended her interview with Frontline (“Court abdicated its responsibility”, June 2) with the words: “The Bhopal gas disaster was a people’s disaster—it will always be theirs.” This sums up how insensitive Union Carbide Corporation leaders, governments, and even the judiciary were towards the victims, both dead and living, of the gas disaster. It is clear that both Central and the State governments failed to clear claims in a way that was most advantageous to the disaster victims. But for the relentless efforts of activists and survivors’ and supporters’ organisations, the authorities would have washed their hands of the issue.

It is appalling that the Union and the State governments continue to remain unmoved by the successive revelations regarding how the contamination of groundwater is spreading.

Ayyasseri Raveendranath

Aranmula, Kerala

Delhi’s town criers

The Jama Masjid in Old Delhi during Ramzan, a file photograph.

The Jama Masjid in Old Delhi during Ramzan, a file photograph. | Photo Credit: PRASHANT NAKWE

THIS is with reference to the article “Dawn men” (June 2). Churches use bells to announce the start of a service, but nothing can match the town criers of Old Delhi. As as part and parcel of their religious duty, they wake people up for Sehri, the dawn meal during Ramzan, without crossing another town crier’s path or invading the privacy of women-only houses.

Mosques and Islamic associations should encourage them to continue their work and appoint new Ramzan town criers when the current ones can no longer do the task, and give them financial help and access to insurance and also help them out with opportunities for profitable back-up self-employment so that they can earn a good living. In these ways, one must ensure that Old Delhi’s town criers do not die out.

Peter Castellino



I LOVE books because they bring us knowledge in a beautiful printed format (“Bihar’s lost libraries”, May 5). I have a great opinion of writers and publishers because it is through them that we get good books. I equally admire mediapersons for their tireless work. It is also time to release mini books in large numbers as they are beautiful and informative.

P. Senthil Saravana Durai


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