Congress on a slippery slope

| Updated on March 19, 2019 Published on March 19, 2019


With reference to ‘Congress to go it alone in Bengal as talks with Left fail’ (March 19), the reported failure of talks on the seat-sharing arrangement between the Left Front and the Congress party in West Bengal must have come as a blessing in disguise for the BJP. Since the Congress may now be compelled to independently contest from all 42 Lok Sabha constituencies here and the Left Front too would not wish to meekly ‘surrender’ before the TMC, the political battle here is likely to hot up. It’s a different matter that Congress President Rahul Gandhi is in touch with CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechuri to salvage a seat-sharing arrangement. But the fact remains that the Congress party is being 'sidelined' by most of the opposition-led ‘Mahagathbandhans’ that are currently in the making. One possible reason could be the ‘non-acceptability’ of its chief Rahul Gandhi, who is still being seen as a political novice. Significantly, the recent poll related surveys also do not give the Congress party much of a chance except in Tamil Nadu where it in alliance with the DMK. Moreover, the SP-BSP alliance in UP has brushed aside the Congress’ ‘generous’ offer of not putting any of its candidates on seven Lok Sabha seats. The situation in Bihar too is equally worrisome for the grand old party.

Kumar Gupt

New Delhi

Hapless labour

With reference to “Rise of contract labour — facts and myths” (March 19) there are other reasons why companies hire contract labour using the fig leaf of rigid labour laws. The problem of “rigid “ laws has been solved by the managers by befriending the labour law enforcing authorities, particularly those charged with the implementation of Contract Labour (Regulation & abolition) Act.

Depsite their large numbers, contract labourers are not seen as a vote bank and do not have the benefit of unionisation.

The government is hesitating to make it mandatory for employers to pay contract labour at par with permanent ones on the principle of equal pay for equal work thanks to the management lobby.

YG Chouksey



With reference to ‘Courage includes compassion and grace’, the way New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern handled this episode and responded with firmness and compassion is worthy of admiration. She gave a strong indication of her steely resolve when she became the first prime minister to give birth while in office. After the Christchurch mosque attacks she has further grown in stature. It is hight time gun lasw in the western world are seriously reviewed. Also the way many of New Zealand’s cricketers including their captain Kane Williamson reached out to the Bangladesh team during this crisis reflects the compassionate culture of this beautiful nation. The world needs more Arderns.

Bal Govind


Use RBI’s potential

With reference to “Is the RBI chief stuck between a rock and a hard place?” (March 19), it seems the RBI is in a “Chakravyooha” from which it may or may not get out post-elections. Though changes in Delhi do have an impact on the RBI, the institution has a mind and unlike in government/s, policy continuation within the bank is fairly insulated from political influence.

This explains the multiple reasons being attributed to the new $5-billion swap move by the RBI. Though for a single institution it has become somewhat unwieldy to manage its core central banking functions with responsibilities like financial inclusion and debt and reserves management, the institution has, over time become used to multiple-tasking and has used its different roles to support the government in pursuing national priorities.

The RBI has not so far received the recognition it deserves, mainly because it is compared with other central banks with limited central banking functions. For fear of loss of prominence, even Delhi is not using the RBI’s immense capabilities in the country’s resources management. Scope exists for more coordination among policy formulators in Delhi (NITI Aayog included) and the RBI.

MG Warrier


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Published on March 19, 2019
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