The coming parliamentary elections are very important,especially given that they come after the delimitation of constituencies (Let the games begin,IE,March 2). The anti-incumbency factor appears to be less effective now than earlier,especially in assembly polls. But Central governments have changed every time of late,except once. Nevertheless,it seems increasingly unlikely that the BJP-led NDA will upset the Congress-led UPA. A.B. Vajpayees departure from active politics and L.K. Advanis perceived ineffectiveness dont help matters either.
Bangladesh is once again passing through a turbulent phase (Dhakas horror,IE,March 2). The landslide victory of Sheikh Hasina apparently didnt go down well with the Islamists and sections of the BNP. Nor is Pakistan happy. All of these players seem to have masterminded the BDR revolt in a bid to overthrow Hasina. She was fortunate enough to have the mutiny quelled soon. Besides,the powerful army stood by her. Hasina needs to be vigilant and also ensure good governance to retain the public goodwill that brought her to power by a landslide.
The speed at which appointments of vice-chancellors of 15 new Central universities were rushed through by the HRD ministry,despite the reported objections by members of the academic fraternity,is uncanny (Appointment of Central varsity VCs… IE,March 2). All norms of selection appear to have been violated by short-cuts. Besides,these appointments are too close to the Lok Sabha polls. However,all of this appears to be just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. One hopes the appointments are quickly challenged in court.
Why this uproar?
I fail to understand why such a hue and cry is being raised over L.K. Advanis suggestion that the prime minister be appointed only from among the members of the Lok Sabha. Our parliamentary government is predominantly based on the British model of governance,and retains prominent similarities. The British prime minister is conventionally selected from among the members of the House of Commons. It makes sense since members of the Lower House are directly elected by universal adult suffrage in both countries.
The recession is forcing industrialists to take recourse to retrenchment. Under such circumstances,in certain states at least,perhaps we need to look at fast-tracking SEZs,as well as possible industrial and infrastructural projects. These will not only provide temporary employment but also benefit us in the long run.