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Letters to the Editor: Dividing line

In Delhi polls, Congress was decimated by its star campaigners’ inability to connect with common men and women.

Updated: February 17, 2015 12:42:24 am

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Dividing line
Apropos ‘The rise of V.P. Singh’ (IE, February 16) by Inder Malhotra, V.P. Singh was a disaster as prime minister. He suddenly implemented the Mandal Commission report, which had been gathering dust, to rob Devi Lal of his backward class support base and the BJP of its Hindu vote bank. But caste politics played a big role in electoral outcomes and compelled the BJP to consolidate its Hindu vote by taking up the Ram Janmabhoomi issue and announcing a rath yatra. The rest is history. Had V.P. Singh not played the Mandal card, the Babri Masjid may still have been standing. He injected the poison of caste in politics and caused the Hindu-Muslim divide to widen enormously.
— M.C. Joshi

Let’s get personal
THIS refers to ‘While Rahul stood still’ by Vandita Mishra (IE, February 16). It is a pity that while analysing Rahul Gandhi’s political activities, Mishra has politely ignored the personal traits that affect his public persona — such as his grizzle-faced appearance and his lethargic inability to address more than a handful of rallies during the recent Delhi election campaign. Rahul’s laziness, in comparison with Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal’s energy, is openly talked about in Congress circles. Our media’s reluctance to discuss the personal traits of political leaders is in sharp contrast to the media in other democracies. For instance, the British press has constantly been lampooning Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition Labour Party, as a “bumbler” with “dark, panda-like eyes”.
— Jawid Laiq
New Delhi

VANDITA MISHRA is perfectly correct in observing that if and when the AAP chooses to spread beyond Delhi, it will find it difficult to respond to the complexities of India’s diversity and inequalities. There is no denying the fact that apart from capturing the Congress’s space in the capital, Arvind Kejriwal’s victory has also made a crucial dent in the BJP’s vote share and image. While the BJP probably lost the elections due to some serious internal jealousy and rivalry as well as its high-pitched negative electoral campaign, the Congress was decimated by its star campaigners’ inability to connect with common men and women, who are disillusioned and frustrated with the party. But with a boss who prefers to stand still, will the Congress ever move in the right direction?
— S. Kumar

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A good start
INDIA continued its winning streak against Pakistan by defeating it by 76 runs in the World Cup match at Adelaide. Kudos to M.S. Dhoni and company for a formidable start to the tournament.
— C.K. Subramaniam

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