This refers to ‘Double Game’ by Alistair McMillan (IE, April 2). It is indeed sacrilegious that the electoral system in this country permits a candidate to contest from multiple constituencies simultaneously. This obnoxious practice surely undermines electoral accountability. It is also evidence of a crisis of confidence as far as the candidate and his party are concerned. The problem is compounded by the fact that taxpayer money goes down the drain if a subsequent by-election is necessary. There must be a way in which election expenditure can be recouped from the candidate or his political party if this practice is allowed to continue.
– Chandramohan V.
Ashok Kotwal and Arka Roy Chaudhuri have excellently analysed Gujarat’s growth record (‘Gujarat’s growth for growth’s sake’, IE, April 3). Growth does not always result in development. This was compellingly demonstrated by the writers. Of what use is such growth? The Gujarat government seems to have a tendency to take up high-visibility projects but neglect rural development and the betterment of tribal areas. There has been an emphasis on roads near or leading to cities, towns and religious destinations. How can a right-thinking liberal citizen be taken in by such a farce?
– C.M. Bhatt
There is an adage: blood is thicker than water. Varun Gandhi’s praise for his cousin’s hard work must be appreciated in these dog-eat-dog days of political competition. Consider the fraught relationship between Uddhav and Raj Thackeray. Their equation epitomises family rivalry in politics. In this context, Varun’s gesture must be appreciated. It was pleasant and praiseworthy. It was also a surprise considering Varun’s hate-speech history. Rahul’s gracious acknowledgement of the complement that his cousin gave him is also commendable. Maneka Gandhi should not have admonished Varun for his good behaviour.
Locked in barracks
This refers to the editorial ‘General in the dock’ (IE, April 3). The indictment of former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf by the Balochistan High Court on various counts may discourage the army from trying to supplant civilian governments in the future. But to ensure that an army coup does not take place ever again, political parties need to evolve a civilian consensus among themselves and give preeminence to democratic institutions. Civil society must prevent political parties from using the army for their partisan ends. It is even more important that both government and society be on the same page on major national and international issues. If this is the case, the army will think twice before leaving the barracks to enter the secretariat.