Gujarat RS results healthy for democracy
Ahmed Patel’s RS win carries multiple messages in the envelope. The JD(U) MLA, by voting against the BJP candidate, has sought to dehyphenate the state unit’s linkage with BJP in Patna, asserting its identity and gaining some recently lost political stature in the process. The perennially sly NCP had the BJP and media chase red herrings only to reserve the last laugh by voting for Congress. Congress has since imbibed unfamiliar virtues of hard toil and political ground combat. It may well help bring it down from its ivory tower to grass-roots level politics. The Patidars registered their disaffection with one cross-vote, one reason why an august president of BJP chose to enter a localised fray. His formidable presence was a clear acknowledgement of changed political atmospherics in the state. It has helped pre-empt far greater damage. BJP has realised that in a crunch, Opposition does find its long lost coherence, and that should augur well for a healthy democracy.
— R Narayanan, Ghaziabad
Apropos of the report ‘Venkaiah Naidu elected vice-president’ (FE Sunday, August 6), M Venkaiah Naidu deserves kudos for being elected the 13th vice-president of India. Though the writing was on the wall, it is interesting to note that the election witnessed massive cross-voting, with Naidu securing a whopping 516 votes, while the opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi could muster only 244. The margin of victory is a record in 30 years and only goes to show that the BJP is still riding high. Though the result is another blow to the UPA, it is heartening to learn that Congress president Sonia Gandhi has been gracious in defeat and has offered her party’s support in further strengthening the Upper House for effective scrutiny of legislations and government policies. The victory should give a leg up to the NDA in the Upper House.
— NJ Ravi Chander, Bengaluru