Chinese overtures give one pause
Regarding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s recent China visit, I feel that it is indeed propitious that during his two-day trip, he was hosted at banquets by both President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. He was accorded very special treatment, like a tour of the Forbidden City and lunch with the former premier, Wen Jiabao. This is a departure from the usual, as former Chinese leaders are not known to host visiting leaders from other countries. Singh’s speech at the Central Party School was also unique in that he was the first Indian leader invited to speak there. However, I feel that this is the sugar coating on the bitter pill. The olive branch being offered might as well turn out to be a crown of thorns. It would be more conducive to better relations between the two countries if China desists from its forays into Indian territory on the north-eastern frontier. We have already been fooled once before by the Chinese, even as we chanted ‘Hindu Chini Bhai Bhai’ during the Nehruvian era. No amount of mollycoddling will suffice to improve bilateral relations now, until China behaves.
Hemant Hemmady

Not the Mr Clean we thought he was
‘Disgracing the high office,’(October 28) is a clean analysis. A stage has now come where Sonia isn’t protecting the PM, He is shielding her. Always, he blames everybody, except himself and the Congress for everything that has gone wrong — from inflation to mega corruption. When A Raja was seen as the main accused in the 2G scam, did we hear from Singh? No. Other scams include the Coalgate scam, MNREGA, Railgate scam, CWG scam, chopper scam and so on. Does he have any credibility left now? He can’t possibly pretend innocence after the recent CBI admission that the Prime Minister’s Office played a part in the changing of the investigative agency’s Coalgate report.
With a total income of Rs 40,51,964 during 2011-12, the financial year for which he filed his last income tax returns, he has stated that his total movable assets are valued at Rs 3,87,63,188, while his wife Gursharan Kaur has movable assets of Rs 20,27,902. It is simply no longer possible to keep up the pretence that he is Mr Clean. If people like A Raja are guilty of looting the nation, Manmohan must be held responsible for facilitating that loot. He can’t escape responsibility. History will judge him harshly for betraying faith; for failing the chance it gave him.
Subrahmanian S H

Concerted crowd-pulling effort
‘Modi tears into Nitish, calls him opportunist, backstabber’ (October 28) reads the headline of a story on the Lotus Party’s mega rallly in Patna, which was aimed only at rubbing it in to Nitish Kumar that his snapping ties with the party did not make any difference whatsoever. Some ten lakh people were reportedly herded from all over the state in 11 chartered trains and several thousand buses for the meet, which, in retrospect, one feels, was a huge misadventure, considering that Bihar is not going to the polls next month. It is no secret that NaMo and Nitish harbour deep-seated animosity towards each other and so what was the point in collecting a huge crowd right under his nose only to brand him a ‘hypocrite’? This rally would have been better held in Chhattisgarh.
V Subramanyan Iyer

Rahul must bide his time
The cumulative effect of Rahul Gandhi’s earlier statement in an election rally that “communal forces” had killed his grandmother and father, and another contentious statement he made on October 23 at Indore that an unnamed intelligence officer told him that some Pakistan intelligence agencies had approached young Muslims, who had lost members of their families in the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar, has given fresh ammunition to those who accuse him for suggesting that an insecure minority might become dangerous to others. This is terribly unfair. These statements are also unwarranted and unwise, when terrorists have invoked the 2002 riots in Gujarat and the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 as twisted justification for their acts. Rahul Gandhi does not have a fair understanding of what secularism is and how not to propagate distorted version of it. In this context, he should not be considered a prospect for the UPA’s prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 election.
C Koshy John

Is there a party free of dynastic rule?
With reference to Narendra Modi’s referring to Rahul Gandhi as ‘shahzada’, wasn’t the grandmother of both Rahul and Varun Gandhi the one who abolished ‘privy purses, despite the strong opposition of the right wing party? Again, if Rahul is a ‘shahzada’ , doesn’t that make Varun one too?
As for dynastic rule in the Congress, is there a party where it does not exist? The BJP’s Vijay Goel (son of Chartilal Goel), Anurag Thakur (son of P Dhumal), the sons of Vasundhara Raje and Jaswant Singh respectively, have contested elections. Atal Behari Vajpayee’s niece, who recently quit the party, was a BJP office-bearer and Modi’s ally in Punjab, the Akali Dal, headed by Prakash Singh Badal, has his whole family in the party and the same goes for the Shiv Sena, the DMK, the Nationalist Congress Party, National Conference, SP and others. So what is different on the other side?
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee

Voters unswayed by emotion
The blasts, allegedly by the IM, just before Modi’s election rally in Patna, is a matter of deep concern and Modi’s decision to carry on with the rally goes in his favour –the very purpose of IM is defeated. As for Rahul Gandhi’s speeches, he is showing his immaturity in politics –there is no emotion in politics, hardcore winning strategic policies are needed. The public is least affected by emotions. . The Congress has failed on practically every count. It seems certain that it will lose, but will the BJP win a majority? Who shall be PM? Voters alone know.
M. Kumar

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