The more the costlier
Sir — Mulayam Singh Yadav seems to be confronted with a problem of elephantine proportions — finding work for the members of his jumbo-sized cabinet (“Jumbo team trouble in heartland”, Oct 5). Unfortunately, Yadav’s predicament is now a common feature in Indian politics where finding a ministerial berth for various coalition leaders is a necessity. However, the consequences of this political compulsion is disastrous for the common man. First, because the public exchequer has to bear the additional cost of the whims and fancies of the ministers. Second, as work gets divided into a larger number of hands, development concerns take a backseat amid the raging corruption that ensues. It is time to put a ceiling on ministries, be it at the Centre or state. Ministries should be formed according to existing needs. Given its current activism, maybe the judiciary should find a way out to monitor the performance of each ministry, and weed out non-performing members. After all, politicians should not be allowed to live off those they are meant to serve.
Bharat Bakshi, Calcutta
In the line of fire
Sir — More than the Telugu Desam Party, the Vajpayee government should consider itself lucky that N. Chandrababu Naidu survived the assassination attempt (“Blasts bore holes in security set-up”, Oct 3). Had the People’s War succeeded in attaining its objective, the National Democratic Alliance would have been seriously compromised. Naidu has proved to be Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Man Friday on numerous occasions in the past and played an instrumental role in keeping the NDA together. His death would have hampered the solidarity of the coalition government at the Centre. As for the TDP, it would have suffered a body blow. The party’s electoral success and national role have been entirely courtesy Naidu. Without him, the party would be like a rudderless ship.
Govind Das Dujari, Calcutta
Sir — The report, “Botched bid boost to Naidu” (Oct 5), which claims that the assassination attempt on the Andhra Pradesh chief minister has actually given him a fresh lease of political life, made for interesting reading. Experts feel that the TDP can tide over the current political crisis in Andhra Pradesh by riding over the sympathy wave generated by an injured leader. The observation reflects the sorry state of Indian politics which weighs life in terms of electoral calculations. The concern expressed by VIPs for Naidu, naturally, do not seem to be dictated by humane feelings, but by political compulsions.
Shankho Poddar, Calcutta
Sir — The opposition has often clamoured that the NDA is a divided house. But the overwhelming concern expressed by the Centre for N. Chandrababu Naidu has allayed such fears. It is evident that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government cares deeply for its allies. This solidarity will serve the NDA well in the coming elections.
R. Sekar, Angul, Orissa
Sir — The wave of terror unleashed by the People’s War in certain pockets of India has reached alarming proportions (“ Fresh threat to VIPs on Naxal website”, Oct 3) The outfit has renewed its death threats not only against N. Chandrababu Naidu but also against Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Babulal Marandi. The central and state security agencies must discard their soft approach and deal with the militants in a ruthless manner. A proactive approach would ensure that the chief ministers of West Bengal and Jharkhand remain unhurt.
Ronojoy Mukherjee, Calcutta
Sir — The recent assassination attempt on N. Chandrababu Naidu proves the striking capacity of the People’s War. The manner in which the militant outfit carried out its attempt shows that it has undergone sophisticated training, possibly from a more professional militant group. The finger of suspicion naturally points to the Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan, which provides training to numerous militant outfits in India. Rather than trying to negate the People’s War alone, the government should concentrate on breaking the nexus between the naxals and ISI.
Anindo Sen, Calcutta
Sir — The Andhra Pradesh government should accept the Centre’s offer of enlisting national security guards for the safety of N. Chandrababu Naidu. Crack NSG commandos are vastly experienced in handling VIP security and counter insurgency measures, unlike the state police.
T.R. Anand, Calcutta
Sir — In a speech, the high lights of which were broadcast over radio, L.K. Advani attributed the “providential escape” of N. Chandrababu Naidu to Lord Venkateswara. Instead of depending on gods, the government itself should try to work out credible plans to protect political leaders.
Mukul Dube, New Delhi
Sir — The security apparatus in India is so flawed that quite rightly, as L.K. Advani pointed out recently, only divine intervention can save politicians from militants. The tragedy is that god’s grace is never present when thousands die in bomb blasts. Much like the politicians who serve him, even god in India is partial.
Jyotish Sinha, Calcutta