Vanita Raut’s unique guarantee highlighted before Lok Sabha elections

Indians are no strangers to politicians making false promises before elections. Therefore, he will not be surprised by Vanita Raut, the candidate of All India Humanity Party from Chandrapur, Maharashtra. Raut has promised to open bars where expensive, imported whiskey and beer will be offered at discounted prices. While Raut’s ‘guarantee’ is strange, it is no less misleading than the promise of depositing Rs 15 lakh in every bank account made before the 2014 elections. Moreover, in a country where illicit liquor is a common freebie before elections – 8.93 lakh liters of liquor has been seized in Karnataka alone – such a post-poll guarantee is unlikely to boost voter enthusiasm.

Ruchita Chatterjee, Calcutta
island of trouble
Sir – In a desperate attempt to improve its dismal performance in Tamil Nadu, the Bharatiya Janata Party has aimed its guns at former Prime Ministers, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, using the maritime dispute with Sri Lanka regarding Katchatheevu Island. “Modi wades into the sea for Tamil Nadu seat”, 2 April). Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram has rightly criticized this unilateral attack of the Centre. He outlined a reply to a RTI query from 2015 to counter the false allegations made by the BJP. Perhaps the party has had to resort to such partisan attacks because its big promises of crores of jobs for the youth and lakhs of rupees for every citizen have failed.
Aseem Boral, Calcutta
Sir – During one of his election campaigns, Narendra Modi said that removal of Article 370, abolition of Triple Talaq and construction of Ram Temple were mere “trailers” of his vision for India’s development. With an eye on crossing the 400-seat mark in the Lok Sabha, Modi and his party have left no stone unturned in polarizing the vote bank. But the hypocrisy of the saffron party is clear.
On the one hand, she has attacked the Nehru-Gandhi family for allegedly handing over Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka, but on the other, she has failed to adequately condemn China for encroachment on Indian territory in Ladakh. Be it the Manipur conflict or farmers’ protest, the Prime Minister has always maintained silence on meaningful issues. Voters should keep this in mind while exercising their franchise.

Ayman Anwar Ali, Calcutta
Sir – By raising the controversial Katchatheevu Islands issue in the final days of his second term, the Prime Minister has betrayed his party’s desperation to gain a foothold in South India. He blamed the then Congress government for ceding the island to Sri Lanka in 1974, while his External Affairs Minister criticized the “dismissive attitude” allegedly shown towards the island by Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Hopefully prudence will prevail and the Prime Minister will not revisit earlier agreements with Sri Lanka. Electoral opportunism should not dictate the contours of foreign policy.

S.K. Chaudhary, Bengaluru
Sir – The agreement with Sri Lanka regarding Katchatheevu is another example of Congress putting itself above the country. Jawaharlal Nehru was responsible for allowing Pakistan to occupy parts of Kashmir. A permanent seat in the UN Security Council was also apparently given to China by him.
It now appears that the Indira Gandhi led government was instrumental in handing over Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka. The opposition has questioned the timing of BJP’s allegations. But it cannot be denied that the Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam weakened India: the then DMK leader M. Karunanidhi had accepted the Congress government’s plan to hand over control of this important island to Sri Lanka. Thus the dual character of the opposition has been exposed.
Of. V. Sitaramaiah, Bengaluru
Sir – The controversy over Katchatheevu Island has exposed the political skills of the Prime Minister. Sengol was used as a political weapon during the inauguration of the new Parliament building. Modi has now chosen to capitalize on the issue for votes by abandoning temporal support in the Pak Straits. Only time will tell whether BJP will benefit from this or not.
Avinash Godbole, Dewas, Madhya Pradesh
Sir – It is surprising that a maritime dispute which was resolved decades ago has become a point of controversy ahead of the general elections. Perhaps the Center cannot see the wood for the trees – making insensitive comments on Katchatheevu could damage India’s bilateral relations with Sri Lanka. Instead of reviving the ghosts of the past, all political parties should focus on contemporary issues that affect the common people.
D.V.G. Shankarrao, Andhra Pradesh
unemployed youth
Sir – India Employment Report 2024 is a sad reflection of the unbalanced growth of our economy where a large percentage of the youth are not getting jobs (“Unemployment Bureau”, March 30). This is hardly sustainable. Given the emerging trends of the global economy, business skills should be given priority

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