A noble act
With reference to the edit “Cleaner polling” (FE, June 8), kudos to the Election Commission of India (ECI) for seeking legal powers to countermand an election if there is evidence of using money to bribe the voters, as money plays a major part in the Indian elections. Needless to say that once the proposed amendment to Section 58A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, acquires legal status, it would really help in curbing the extant practice of money frequently changing hands as per the need and suitability of the political parties concerned. Earlier also, the EC had recommended cancellation of voting in two constituencies—Aravakurichi and Thanjavur— in Tamil Nadu on account of voters being bribed. It may be recalled it was TN Sheshan, former chief election commissioner of India who had ‘revolutionised’ the Indian electoral battlefield with the introduction of some of his unprecedented yet out of box ideas. This had led to him acquiring the dubious distinction of being the most hated man in the political circles of the country. But, as of now, the credit for cleansing a part of the deep-rooted political dust goes to various TV channels for conducting the string operations which show India’s political fraternity in a highly unsavoury position. The latest sting operation which showed MLAs in Karnataka to rake in crores for stamping their preference for a particular candidate in the biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha on June 11 does not augur well for the Indian democracy. Incidentally, it may also be pointed out that a similar sting operation involving the chief minister of Uttarakhand Harish Rawat (prior to the holding of a floor test in the State Assembly) is currently under CBI’s investigation after the state High Court refused to intervene in the matter. Perhaps, the Election Commission is now making the constitutional efforts to lend a helping hand to the govt sponsored clean India Campaign by removing the money oriented electoral garbage from the Indian politics. In all fairness, the entire nation wishes the Election Commission a commendable success in its noble act.
Vinayak G, Bengaluru
NSG, China and India
In his seventh meeting with the US president Barack Obama, prime minister has achieved a big takeaway. India has joined the elite group of 34 countries with the admission to MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime), a key anti-proliferation group. Obama has once again affirmed his support to India joining the NSG (nuclear suppliers group) of 48 countries, but China has remained a constant bug-bear by virtue of its veto power in the UN to hold back India. China’s insistence on consensus in admitting India to the group of 48 countries under NSG bears testimony to its reluctance on India joining the NSG. It is only now, that China has taken time to feel and observe the involvement of Pakistan in the 26/11 attack. China’s observation is only a poor consolation to India, unless it maintains distance from the neighbouring country. It remains to be seen if China will isolate the country that has adopted terrorism as instrument of policy?