EC's credibility at stake
Sir, Some of the recent orders of the Election Commission have raised many-a-brow and are mystifying in the absence of any rationale. The high constitutional body entrusted with the onerous task of conducting free and fair elections should not only be fair but also appear to be fair.

Unless it is transparent and follows appreciable rationale, it is bound to fail in its avowed objective. Delay in taking a decision in the issue of allotment of a symbol of two leaves to the rightful faction in the AIADMK, by more than eight months is a sign of the EC's weakness, while a similar dispute was decided with admirable promptness in Uttar Pradesh.

Later, de-freezing the symbol suddenly on November 23 and announcing the R K Nagar bye-elections in Tamilnadu on the next day, can not be considered fair. The move earned criticism from former CEC S Y Quraishi. While announcing dates for the Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the commission broke convention and chose to announce the dates for Himachal first and Gujarat a week later, on some lame excuse. Latest instance in issuing notice to Rahul Gandhi on his television interview and withdrawing it soon after, brought the commission under a cloud of doubt. It stubbornly refused to take note of a complaint against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his speech during the Assembly elections.
The constitutional body which was revered once, appears to be losing its credibility slowly and steadily. There is an imminent need to bring appointment of ECs under Lokpal.
S V Venkatakrishnan, Bengaluru

2G Scam

Sir, Apropos "Raja, Kanimozhi, others acquitted in 2G scam" (DH, Dec 22), in acquitting A Raja, Kanimozhi and all other accused in the 2G scam, the Special CBI court has introduced a spicy flavour to the national political curry. The timing of the verdict is crucial. It has come just days after a narrow electoral victory in the prime minister's home state Gujarat. The low margin of votes exposed the BJP's soft underbelly. It also comes as the countdown begins for a series of state polls in 2018 that will pit the BJP against the Congress and set the stage for the big battle in 2019 when the country will vote for its next national government.

Was there a scam? Yes, most certainly. After all, rules aren't changed overnight, unless to give undue advantage to somebody. But, it was the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate's job to follow the leads and deliver a water-tight case. That they didn't. It proves for the nth time that the country's premier investigating agencies don't deserve the "premier" tag.

Unfortunately, long before the 2G scam hit the headlines, Indian investigative agencies had mastered the art of "managing" acquittals of high-profile offenders. Scams and their "happy endings" are also not rare in India.


Sir, Apropos "Won't oppose Mahadayi sharing: Goa CM" (DH, Dec 22), the BJP after tasting the bitter angst of the farmers in the Narmada region in the recent elections in Gujarat in which it emerged 'just passed' with great difficulty, is making quick course correction in Karnataka. It is trying to exploit this knotty Mahadayi water dispute to score a browny point by using it as a poll plank. But it is doubtful if it can succeed in resolving this entangled water dispute unless Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is stoically silent on this issue, intervenes. It was only after attending a meeting convened by the BJP national president Amit Shah, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in his letter to B S Yaddyurappa said that his government would not oppose parting with 7.56 tmc ft of the Mahadayi river water meant to be utilised for drinking purpose only to the drought-prone areas of Karnataka.

However, Parrikar declared this with a disclaimer that "the discussion shall be without prejudice to our rights and contentions before the tribubal, none of which are even touched by this letter." This obstinacy only reinforces the saying "A man who is convinced much against his will is of the same opinion still." The BJP should therefore find an amicable solution to this issue because it cannot both eat the cake and have it too.


Sir, It is quite amusing to see Karnataka CM Siddaramiah's sudden interest in calling himself a Hindu after seeing newly crowned Rahul Gandhi's temple visits in Gujarat during the Assembly elections and his desire to do the same in Karnataka also. Siddaramiah may note that people's memory is not that much short to forget his scant respect shown while entering temples and his wasting public money in celebrating Tipu Jayanti, posing with a headgear and brandishing a sword like Tipu, just to ensure the minority vote bank. Now his undue insistence of he being Hindu explaining his name et al, probably in line with Rahul Gandhi's newfound love for Hinduism show what all our politicians do during election season just to buy votes.
V S Ganeshan,

Farmer's Day
I am reminded of Verse 1,032 of the Tirukkural which says: "Farmers are the linchpin of the world, for they support all those who take to other work, not having the strength to plough." Though converting farmland for industrial purposes looks like a sunny prospect, let us remember that we cannot eat money. Even currency notes are made using cotton produced by farmers. An urgent policy intervention by the government is needed to make agriculture an attractive profession.

TS Karthik,

Sir, Apropos "Raja, Kanimozhi, others acquitted in 2G scam" (DH, Dec 22), the UPA-II in general and its time-tested ally the DMK in particular, have a reason to celebrate with the acquittal of former telecom minister A Raja and Member of Parliament Kanimozhi, by the CBI court where Special CBI Judge O P Saini concluded that there is no clinching evidence and hence no scam. Ever since DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi fell ill, his younger son M K Stalin positioned himself as de facto party chief cutting his elder brother M K Alalgiri to size and sending his sister into hibernation in the background of the 2G scam. Now with her acquittal, the possibility of the power matrix in the party is likely to change dramatically. With the resurgence of Kanimozhi, Stalin may have to re-jig and change his track in party affairs. The verdict has come at an opportune time for the DMK on the day by-poll for the prestigious R K Nagar constituency was held.

H P Murali,


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