A landmark verdict
SIR, ~ The Supreme Court has given a landmark verdict to cleanse the political system. MPs and MLAs will immediately be disqualified if they are found guilty of crime by the courts. The political  and legislative segments have their quota of the tainted, and they often tend to hold the country to ransom. If the verdict is strictly executed, almost half the Members of  Parliament and more than half the MLAs in the states could be disqualified. They now move court, if found guilty by the trial court. The cases are heard for years on end, and they continue to sit in the legislatures, perhaps also engage in more crime. The court order carries a message for the parties as well; hopefully, nomination tickets for the tainted will end.  If at all they file their nomination papers, they can be rejected by the Election Commission on the strength of the Supreme Court order.
yours, etc., s p sharma, mumbai, 12 july.
SEC Trinamul&’s enemy No. One
SIR, ~ The first phase of the panchayat election in West Bengal was held in the midst of the Trinamul&’s relentless campaign against the State Election Commission. The ruling party is targeting Mira Pande and not actually the Left. Tongue firmly in cheek, the party refers to Ms Pande as “comrade”. This is a reckless swipe at a government official. Subhendu Adhikari, the Trinamul MP from West Midnapore, has gone to the extent of insinuating that “Comrade Mira Pande is waiting for ways to stall the elections. Cameras have been put up at various places. She is looking for opportunities to stall the polls or conduct re-election. We will not give her that opportunity.”
It appears that the Trinamul Congress has identified Ms Pande as its first enemy, Congress the second and the CPI-M the third and last. The party is anxious to convey the impression that Ms Pande is responsible for the delayed elections and the fact that it coincides with the holy month of Ramzan. The Chief Minister has attacked Ms Pande without naming her. The latter has been accused of being hand-in-glove with the CPI-M. As head of government, Mamata Banerjee has hinted at “people&’s revenge through democratic means” against the SEC.
The Supreme Court came down heavily on the state government for ‘dilly-dallying’ with dates and force requirements. The court refused to change the dates of the polls which are to be conducted in five phases. Rightly has Ms Pande stated: “I head a constitutional body. My post is a constitutional post. I cannot make irresponsible remarks.”
yours, etc., gokul burman, chakdaha (nadia), 12 july.
The Army&’s other face
SIR, ~  This is with reference to Seema Mustafa&’s article on 3 July. It has quite justifiably been titled “The Army&’s other face” because “the police has confirmed the report” on the killing of two Kashmiri boys by the Army. But in the centre of the report you have inserted a box item that states, ‘Separatists want the withdrawal of troops and scrapping of special powers of Indian troops’. This is self-contradiction.
The people of Kashmir want the withdrawal of troops and scrapping of special powers that the military has under the  Armed Forces Special Powers Act. This has rightly been reflected in the statement of the J&K Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, published in your paper on 4 July. There is little doubt that the people of Kashmir and the north-eastern states, such as Manipur, are suffering due to the prolonged presence of  the military and the use of AFSPA. We feel proud about India, but  are silent on the continued suffering of Indians.
yours, etc., jiten nandi, kolkata, 4 july.