Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Himanta’s remarks an insult to the electorate of Meghalaya

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Editor,
This one guy who’s trying to outdo all loudmouths in the BJP, Himanta Biswa Sarma, CM of Assam, has once again made a statement which, I’m sure, he hopes will come to the notice of his supreme leader, Modiji, Yogi and the RSS. He says that the defeat of the BJP in the three north-eastern states in the Lok Sabha elections is due to the influence of the Christian missionaries! I don’t want to spend much time and space to this ridiculous statement, except for these two points:
Himanta Biswa Sarma should stop acting as the ‘dada’ of the north-east by blaming the Christian missionaries for his party’s (and allies) defeat. He can do his dadagiri in his own state. Biswa Sarma should stop interfering in Meghalaya’s affairs and pretend as if he is the unparalleled leader of the north-east. He is not and will never be because, for one, he can’t control his mouth!
Christian missionaries are, by his allegation, responsible for the defeat of the NPP (a close ally of the BJP) in Meghalaya. This is an inexcusable insult to the electorate and people of Meghalaya, condemnable in the strongest terms.
But now, can we expect our Chief Minister, the head of our state, to react to this blusterer and condemn his statement, and stand by the people of his State? Or will he continue to be submissive to Himanta Biswa Sarma and remain quiet? Can we, as Meghalayans, feel secure with his leadership in the light of Assam’s CM’s verbal assault on us? Let us wait and watch!
Yours etc.,
Eugene D. Thomas,
Shillong – 6

Disgraceful remarks by Assam CM
Editor,
The electoral victory of the VPP and the Congress candidates in Shillong and Tura respectively in the recent Parliamentary elections has evoked political noises from various quarters in varying tunes and wavelengths some symphonically orchestrated and some off tune. It was shocking that in the face of losing the prestigious Jorhat seat to Gaurav Gogoi of the Congress, the Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma dared to squarely blame the Christian missionaries for preaching against the BJP as it is widely understood from his loose talk. The animosity of the BJP CM towards Christians needs no elucidation. Sadly, the NPP and its allies here have chosen to keep their mouths and eyes shut instead of condemning such statements and singling out a religious community. Is this because the NPP is part of the North East Development Alliance (NEDA) in the Northeast headed by the BJP’s Himanta Biswa Sarma? Populist agenda invested with a mood to target states or communities based on their religious beliefs is unacceptable in a civilized and secular society. The elections being over parties should strive to work in unison towards the development and prosperity of their states.
Yours etc..
Dominic S. Wankhar,
Via email

New era of coalition government starts
Editor,
Now that the swearing in of the Modi government is complete a new era of coalition government will start with inherent compulsions which had begun emerging even before the oath-taking ceremony. JDU leader KC Tyagi had said that there should be rethinking of the Agniveer scheme as well as the UCC. Also the TDP had demanded the post of Speaker which the Party had previously held. Such challenges do persist in any coalition government. The Vajpayee government handĺed such situations very successfully but Modi had never faced such a situation while he was Chief Minister of Gujarat or as Prime Minister. There will now be demand for caste census in the country. The INDI Alliance has also demanded that a JPC be appointed to know the reason for fluctuations in share markets just two days before the election results.
Few today will deny that the first two editions of the Modi government have been marked by the cavalier attitude of the executive to treat the legislature as a rubber stamp. Important bills were moved in the House with a few hours’ notice even while Members of Parliament had little clue as to what they were going to debate and legislate upon. Opposition voices in Parliament and parliamentary panels — which act as mini-Houses — were smothered.
The Modi government’s so-called crusade against corruption in its last term was marked by its abuse of both laws and law enforcement agencies. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), a draconian piece of legislation originally intended at reining in the drug mafia with impossible bail conditions, was flung at political leaders even as courts were left wondering what evidence was there against the defendants. It showed a commitment not to hunt down the corrupt but a compulsion to intimidate opponents and dissidents.
Prime Minister Modi’s promise that there will be big decisions in his third term at South Block and that he will go on a hot pursuit of corruption should warm the hearts of his followers but he will come across impediments that he, as Chief Minister of Gujarat for three terms and as Prime Minister for two, has never faced in his mission. One may attribute these to the compulsions of democracy or coalition dharma but it will now require all the skills of a seasoned negotiator to steer his government down the road towards his stated goals.
Mr Modi, however, was right when he said that dealing with the “menace of corruption is a complex task” due to increasing political greed and technology will be an important tool in this mission of ending corruption. An honest attempt to strike at the roots of graft will enable the government to allocate more resources for development and welfare schemes aimed at the weaker sections of society. But it remains to be seen if Modi 3.0 will walk the talk on these counts.
With the poor performance of the BJP riding on Modi’s name, the ‘supremo syndrome ‘where one leader, his image; the power of his words and his organised following had overshadowed the structure of a multi-party parliamentary democracy due to majority in Lok Sabha now stands rejected. The nation rejected the theory that an entire nation could trust just one person and one leader, so much so that no one else mattered. But now we are back to a familiar scenario of coalition governments that ran the country during the 1990s and 2000s,where independence was replaced by interdependence, and each party consulted its allies and even the Opposition before taking decisions. In this regard the example of Vajpayee is before us when he led a delegation to the UN at a time when Narasimha Rao was Prime Minister. The era of unilateral decision-making featuring sudden, unexpected decisions as in the case of demonetization had stunned the nation. The bulldozer now has brakes as BJP has seen its negative impact in Uttar Pradesh.
The biggest beneficiaries of this shift will not only be the alliance partners, or the states of Andhra Pradesh and Bihar, eager for long to receive their special category status, but also the Opposition, which has grown stronger, and the various institutions, estates and pillars of democracy — all of which found themselves a shade paler in the era of illumination of the top leader. Democracy will enjoy its good health, its leisurely stroll in the park, watching dissent shoot up through the fountainhead of liberty, while the damaged statue of the superman will only have birds perched on its shoulders for company, singing woefully of the bygone decade, of a thriving autocracy, and its sudden demise.
As a common citizen of the country, we expect the smooth running of the government keeping in view the welfare of each citizen.
Yours etc.,
Yash Pal Ralhan,
Via email

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