The results of the recent civic polls in Karnataka come as a massive setback for the BJP (Not Modi,not Gandhi,IE,March 13). The party seems to have lost its appeal among urban voters in the state. Given its electoral no-show,BJP chief Rajnath Singh might find it hard to strike a deal with the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP),the breakaway party formed by ex-CM B.S. Yeddyurappa. However,the KJPs electoral fortunes remain fluid as well. Although it has a solid support base in the Lingayat-dominated Haveri,it may not be so secure in the Lingayat belt in North Karnataka and the coastal districts. The defeat of BJP candidates in Udupi,Mangalore City and Bellary is a telling setback,one that could bode ill for the partys future in the state. It could still do well in the assembly elections later this year if Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar managed to win back the Lingayat votes. The KJP had split the vote for the BJP,to the Congresss advantage.
C. Koshy John,
ITALY is not doing itself any favours by refusing to send back its two marines to India for trial (Graceless in Rome ,IE,March 14). But India,for its part,should not act in a huff and do anything to further fray relations between the two countries. Diplomacy demands cool-mindedness and persuasion,not hysterics and retribution. Playing to the gallery under pressure can have adverse effects in international relations.
IT IS indeed graceless of Italy to go back on its word to send back the two marines who were allowed to go home after a solemn promise that they would return after four weeks. Both,after all,stand accused of the serious crime of killing two Indian fishermen. The two marines ostensibly went home to vote. But it is mystifying why they could not cast their ballots by post. The prime minister has taken a firm stand on the issue of the marines return. He should stick to it.
Ray of hope
THIS refers to From transparency to accountability by Nikhil Dey and Anjali Bhardwaj (IE,March 13). The GR bill,if implemented properly,can be of great help to thousands of Indians who have to face difficulties when dealing with government officers. A trip to a government office is an ordeal and most of the time,nothing gets done without a bribe.The GR bill,along with the RTI,could help reduce the rampant corruption and ease the ordinary citizens lot.