Make manifestos legally binding
In the interest of the protection of consumers’ rights, there are ever so many NGOs and institutions existing in our country and there is also the law very well-supported by the government through the ‘ Jaago Grahak Jaago’ awareness drive. Now, if all political parties print manifestos, containing promises, projections, assurances and dreams to the voters during election time, once in five years, to which voters are attracted , then by treating party manifestos as legal and registered documents, voters will really have a legal right to sue in case promises are not kept. It is not important to introduce or to include a voters’ rights protection act. The government always emphasizes, even for the smallest of contract agreements, various documents for any legal process, so why not party manifestos?
Instead of the Lokpal Bill, this voters’ rights protection bill will be extremely effective. Anna Hazare, Medha Patkar and all the leading NGOs like Agni and others must start a movement for this. If the government refuses this, the Aam Aadmi Party may act on this revolutionary suggestion.
Niranjan Ashar

Maybe, history will be kind to PM
Coming at the fag-end of his tenure as prime minister, the prime minister’s third press conference attracted the nation’s attention, but except for a few the questions, the answers were dull. No doubt he ducked many questions, but his “It was I who insisted that spectrum allocation should be transparent and fair. It was I who insisted that the allocation of coal blocks should be on the basis of auction,” did not satisfy many. Just by saying this, Singh cannot prove that he is strong. Interestingly, when he sought to dispel the negative image of his government and the tag of a weak prime minister, his reply was a direct attack on the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, who has always criticised Singh, one reason or the other. Whether it will be disastrous for the country to have Narendra Modi as PM or not, time will tell, but even so, after the dull press meet, my heart goes out to this gentleman and an honest prime minister. I’m sure history will vindicate him.
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee

No name-calling, please
Whatever might have been the political and ideological differences the ruling Congress may have with Modi, it does not augur well for the head of the government to have referred to Modi as a mass murderer, reminiscent of the earlier epithet used by the Congress, ‘Maut ka Saudagar.’ Elections are to be fought on policies and programmes. The track record of the UPA, particularly in its second term, was full of scandals and an anti-Congress sentiment has been generated only because of this dismal record. This should call for soul-searching instead of training guns on an opponent’s popularity. All the more so when its own record on the orchestrated Sikh massacre of 1984 is still an unremoved stigma. Let not 1984 and 2002 vitiate the 2014 campaign and let there be political wisdom to conduct the election campaign with dignity and decorum
V N Ramachandran

Press meet just as expected
This has reference to the PM’s news conference on January 3, 2014. The PM’s approach was along the most expected lines. He was not assertive or firm on any of the issues he had to answer/clarify in the conference and he was, in general, passive, while indulging in self-evaluation that he had done the best possible. He pleaded ignorance even on the latest allegations on Virbhadra Singh, the Himachal Pradesh CM. He looked immensely sad and seemed be going through the motions. He abundantly gave the impression that his speech was ‘influenced’ and the ostentatious event was only to project Rahul Gandhi with fulsome praise and vilify Modi.
T M Uday Shankar

‘Aam aadmi’ conned
What the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is attempting to do is hunt with the hounds and run with the hare! How it is supposed to eliminate corruption with the help of the most corrupt Congress party? Does he expect support from the latter when it will initiate action against the corrupt? What about its declaration that it would neither support anyone nor accept support from anyone? Is this honesty and transparency? In its very government formation, his AAP has erred — erred grievously!
Shreeram Paranjpe

Pulling the wool over our eyes
This refers to the Maharashtra’s Congress-led government devising a way to ‘fulfil’ the directive of the Congress vice president on a rethink over the summary rejection of the judicial panel report on the Adarsh Housing Society scam (January 3). With only the bureaucrats being held accountable, and not politicians, there cannot be a blunter example of open loot by political rulers to save their fellow politicians with such eye-wash.
Courts can suo moto take up such cases and decide fast because the clearly evident differential attitude towards the guilty bureaucrats as opposed to the equally involved politicians leaves no scope for lengthy court arguments.
Madhu Agrawal

Whose Adarsh is it anyway?
All these years, the media had maintained that Adarsh Building was for the war widows of Kargil, that the land belonged to the army and so on; and now it is being said that Adarsh is not for the Kargil war widows and that the land belongs to the state government. So, was the public being taken for a ride all these years?
Now it feels like after all, Rahul must have slammed the rejection of the Adarsh report only after being assured that no action could be contemplated against the politicians, including Sushil Kumar Shinde, So, the Adarsh reporting has been one big media sham.
Kedarnath Rajah Aiyar

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