* APROPOS EC rejects Mulayams President vote (IE,July 21),this presidential election will be remembered for numerous reasons. The president is elected through a secret ballot and political parties should not pressure legislators to vote one way or the other. Mulayam Singh has played an erratic role in these elections,first opposing Pranab Mukherjees candidature,then agreeing to support it and finally voting for P.A. Sangma by mistake. It is not often that the vote of a top party leader is declared invalid by the Election Commission.
* THIS refers to Its President Pranab (IE,July 23). Perhaps there should not be so much emphasis on the post of president. Over the last six decades,there was at least one momentous occasion when the president needed to exercise his discretion. This was when former prime minister Indira Gandhi proclaimed the Emergency. The president did not withhold his assent to it.
No saving grace
* HAVING lost the presidential elections to Pranab Mukherjee,P.A. Sangma should have responded with more grace. Mukherjees win seemed imminent even before the elections,given the support he got across parties. Instead of congratulating him,Sangma now alleges foul play and vents his ire on chief ministers in the Northeast. This is in bad taste. Moreover,it is unlikely that parties like the Shiv Sena and the CPM were offered inducement packages in return for their support of the Congresss presidential candidate.
* IT IS time for the Congress to deal firmly with Sharad Pawar (PM,Sonia fail to sway NCP; Pawar,Patel to skip office,IE,July 21).It is true that the NCP leader has years of experience in politics,but his tenure as agriculture minister casts doubts on his expertise as an administrator. The plight of farmers and of agriculture in the country bears poor testimony to his skills. Moroever,Pawars party colleague Praful Patel was less than exemplary as aviation minister. Sonia Gandhis knack of converting pressures to her advantage will be tested once again with Pawar.
* IT IS sad to see a veteran like Sharad Pawar use such pressure tactics just to secure the No. 2 position in cabinet. After his initial antipathy to Sonia Gandhi,because of her foreign origins,he made peace with the Congress and consolidated his position at the Centre and in his state,Maharashtra. He has now been short-changed by the Congress. The party,especially Congress president Sonia Gandhi,knows she can rein him in. Unfortunately,Pawar cannot afford to antagonise the Congress beyond a point.