Advani&’s contribution to BJP&’s evolution

SIR, ~ Narendra Modi will, after all, lead the Bharatiya Janata Party&’s campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha election. I wonder whether LK Advani, at the age of 85, is really hankering after power or whether he is saddened by the fact that his partymen don’t listen to him any longer. The party ought not to forget that it was Mr Advani who largely revived the BJP, which had won only two seats in the 1984 election.
  In the fullness of time, electoral victory enabled Atal Behari Vajpayee to become the Prime Minister. It was Mr Advani again who stood like a rock behind Mr Modi in 2002 and vetoed Mr Vajpayee&’s decision to dismiss him after the Gujarat pogrom. The MP from Gandhinagar took a different stand on the issue.
  For the past six months, there has been a chorus within the BJP, favouring Mr Modi as the prime ministerial candidate. It is palpable that this has shocked Mr Advani. And this appears to be the reason why he chose to stay away from the party&’s national executive meeting in Goa.
Before every election in Gujarat, whether to the Lok Sabha or the Assembly, Mr Advani has consistently highlighted Mr Modi&’s development agenda. He had backed the Chief Minister in the wake of the tussle with the octogenarian rebel, Keshubhai Patel. Therefore, it is the BJP that will suffer if the tussle between the supporters of Mr Advani and Mr Modi persists.
yours, etc., bidyut kumar chatterjee, faridabad, 10 june.

Strategy in Howrah
SIR, ~ This is with reference to your balanced editorial, “Hurrah-less Howrah” (8 June). The Trinamul Congress must be indebted to the BJP for its covert support. To use football terminology, Prasun Banerjee could not have netted had Rajnath Singh not given a long “through pass”. This has now triggered speculation that Mamata Banerjee might join the NDA once again.
  If the BJP imagines that she will forge an alliance before 2014, it is totally mistaken. Her style of functioning is to “use and throw”.
 She will never join the NDA at the cost of her minority vote-bank in Bengal. Instead she will try to mend fences with the Congress again because the BJP is of no consequence here. She will try her best to keep her sliding home-turf  intact.
Within two years of assuming power, the result of the Howrah Lok Sabha by-election is a setback for Trinamul. It also underscores the fact that the party always needs a crutch to win electoral battles.
yours, etc., aranya sanyal, siliguri, 9 june.

Directly fraudulent
SIR, ~ Several states, including Tamil Nadu, have been extending a variety of freebies, including television sets, grinders, laptop, mixies, even cattle to the poor, on the assumption that voters are so gullible that they will elect the ruling party yet again when the next Assembly election is due.
  Now, the Government of India, in trying to emulate the regional parties, has gone one step further . It will provide  direct cash transfers to the poor with an eye on the 2014  Lok Sabha election.
Mahatma Gandhi would have certainly disapproved of the cash transfer scheme, which he had once termed as unethical  and anti-poor. This is the worst scheme that has been adopted in India.
 In the process, the poor  will expect more and more freebies from the government. The dignity of labour  will be given the short shrift and work culture will be destroyed.
Gandhi had always encouraged hard and sustained work, with due importance to the dignity of labour ~ “Earning without working is an insult heaped on an individual”.
Indeed, the direct cash transfer scheme is a fraud on the people, one that unscrupulous  politicians are engaged in. It is unlikely to be endorsed by intelligent economists, who believe in healthy social and economic growth.  The tax-payers’ money, running into crores, will be expended. The amount could well have been invested in projects that can generate employment. All right-thinking people should vociferously oppose this scheme.
yours, etc., n s venkataraman, (nandini voice for the deprived),
chennai, 8 june.

Settling for below-average
SIR, ~ The Left Front government had encouraged mediocrity in education. But the government of the Trinamul Congress has settled for a level that is below mediocre.
  The education minister appears to be more interested in film-shoots. He has conveyed the impression that this dispensation can make do with the below-average. No wonder many bright students are seeking migration certificates to study in other states.
 The marked success of district students in the Madhyamik examination reflects the CPI-M&’s anxiety to project the success of candidates in rural Bengal in comparison to the city of Kolkata.
yours, etc., n k das gupta, kolkata, 10 june.