Poll ploy could mean anarchy
Subsidies mean financial anarchy in an opportunist political system. Experts, and not politicians, must be made ministers.
The disastrous decision of the union cabinet on poll-eve to increase the number of subsidised LPG-cylinders from the earlier nine, to twelve now, by deferring the deposit of subsidy amount in bank accounts, is not a good move. This is exactly what the President rightly cautioned against in his Republic Day eve speech. No political party has the courage to speak up against this decision aimed to directly hurt the economy by about Rs 5,000 crore annually, that too, unnecessarily, with much of the benefit going to black marketers, because 89 per cent of the total 15 crore LPG consumers never need more than nine cylinders per annum.
Madhu Agrawal

Clean chit open to interpretation
The NCP leader Praful Patel has reportedly said that the clean chit given to Narendra Modi, the Gujarat CM and prime ministerial candidate, should be respected. As a common man, I understand that there are several cases still going on, related to the Godhra riots. Several cases have been transferred outside Gujarat. I presume Praful Patel’s understanding of ‘clean chit’ is different, or he does not understand the meaning at all. If he wants to congratulate Modi for his action or inaction on the riots, he is free to do so, but he and his party have to come clean.
S S Nair

Stamp of bad economics
At a time when the RBI Governor is struggling to do a lot of tightrope walking to contain the inflation with policies, the ill-advised populist move of the government to raise the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders on election eve has critically dampened his efforts. The government was even ready for a walk out by the TMC on the issue. There was a caustic remark by the FM that Modi’s knowledge of economics could be written on a stamp. The country’s economy is being ruined for electoral gains by pledging future economic strength and if such populist measures on the eve of elections make for sound economics, then the entire philatelic bureau’s stock will be insufficient to write on the mismanagement of the economy.
V N Ramachandran

Mamata gets this one right
The Director General of Civil Aviation’s missive to low cost airliners to lay out the red carpet for MPs is unfair. Allowing escorts and ensuring fast security clearance are some of the privileges sought. The MPs already enjoy unbridled comforts, air or rail, wherever they travel in India. The government- controlled Air India is showering largesse on them through free travel and other privileges. Why can’t they then travel on AI exclusively? In hindsight, one feels even AI should curtail the privileges offered to the MPs with caution. It is high time the government comes out in public with details of freebies provided to the MPs in the state-owned airlines. Many MPs, who make full use of the liberties accorded to them, should take a cue from others of their ilk who set perfect examples of public behaviour. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is known to queue up to clear all formalites at airports. Also, in this era of the common man, there is every possibility of our elected representatives facing the ire of the co-passengers while trying to bypass them.
Ganapathi Bhat

Query for media archives
I think the media, electronic and print, or Parliament archives can help recall an old debate that took place on the floor of the Lok Sabha. This was during the reign of the NDA, when George Fernandes, as NDA minister, responding to allegations against the BJP, reminded the opposition, the Congress, about what it did during the 1984 Sikh riots, how they had clandestinely inserted ads in the newspaper instigating the people to revolt against the Sikhs resulting in their massacres. Fernandes also promised to present before the house the said clippings on the following day to substantiate his point.
At that time, the late Chandra Shekhar intervened and made a very passionate appeal to the House not to proceed on the subject and not to bring the said clippings, which could could re-open the old wounds and once again vitiate the atmosphere across the nation unnecessarily. The NDA and the entire House spontaneously responded favourably, bringing the matter to an end. That was the maturity of the politicians then and of the NDA. I want to be sure of the said debate, therefore my foregoing request.
Isn’t it an irony, that the wisdom that prevailed then is lost and old wounds are being reopened?
Kedarnath Rajah Aiyar

Phony reluctance to name Rahul
If the cap on the number of subsidised gas cylinders can be raised on a murmur from Rahul Gandhi, what price vital considerations such as economic viability, political fallout and fiscal cost? It is apparent that political feasibility alone was given consideration in this case. Even the controversial linking of Aadhaar is put on hold. It is paradoxical that amid all this sycophancy the Congress shrinks from announcing the name of Rahul Gandhi as its prime ministerial candidate.
Valli S Rajan

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