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Letters: No room for complacency

Can Rahul Gandhi deliver, is a question uppermost in the minds of political observers

Business Standard 

Ahmad Patel
Ahmad Patel retained his Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat after bagging 44 votes at the Secretariat in Gandhinagar on Tuesday.

No room for complacency

Ahmed Patel’s return to the Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat should be seen as a rebuff to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President as well as Shankarsinh Vaghela, who recently resigned from the and was the BJP’s candidate for the same seat. 

Their script did not work this time, thanks to two members of the Gujarat Assembly rendering their votes for the invalid by their acts of wrongdoing. The Election Commission acted promptly on a complaint by the high-profile delegation led by senior leader P Chidambaram. 

For Shah, whose political craftsmanship led the to capture power in some states without even getting the people’s mandate, the defeat of his candidate, an ex-man, in his home state is a setback to his (Shah’s) image. 

While Patel’s return could boost the morale of the cadre in the state amid squabbles in the party and lack of effective leadership, this victory should not lull the party leadership into complacency. With Gujarat going to the polls later this year, the has so far failed to energise itself and present a formidable challenge to the by exploiting the anti-incumbency factor against its uninterrupted rule. Can Vice-president deliver, is a question uppermost in the minds of political observers.

S K Choudhury, Bengaluru

Pre-empting damage

Ahmed Patel’s (pictured) Rajya Sabha win carries several messages. By voting against the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) has sought to de-hyphenate its linkage with that party in Bihar, asserting its identity and gaining some recently lost political stature. 

The Nationalist Party had the and the media chase red herrings even as it voted for the The has imbibed unfamiliar virtues of toil and ground combat. These might  help bring it down from its ivory tower. 

The Patidars registered their disaffection with one cross vote, one reason why the chief had to enter the local fray. His presence was a clear acknowledgement of the changed political atmosphere in Gujarat. It has helped pre-empt greater damage. The has realised that in a crunch situation, the Opposition could find its lost coherence — something that augur wells for a democracy.

R Narayanan, Ghaziabad 

Question of sustainability

With reference to the editorial, “Reform or entitlement?” (August 9), the reform and rationalisation of central labour laws to effectuate the Bill across the formal and informal sectors is a bold move. Concerted effort and deliberations of policymaking bodies on wage anomalies and labour law regulations for long deserve mention here. 

Nonetheless, the regulation to vouch for the Bill is far from the benefits accrued to the absorbed labour force, which has a structural variation in terms of socio-economic disintegration, for example, cost of living, expenditure bills and welfare access. An important concern: Will the Bill ease labour market rigidities and make it relatively an arbitrage-free market with respect to spatial variation and price parity? So, when the Bill comes into force, an informal sector worker is entitled to the benchmark wage. This is in opposition to a job in the formal sector or the government that offers “insurance” cover of personal and liability risks along with welfare to employees and their families.

If the reform espouses all-round development of the labour force, it is welcome and can build a bridge between the labour market structure, conduct and performance. Otherwise, the Bill remains an entitlement. A larger question is, if per capital income increases post implementation of the Bill, how long would it be sustainable given complexity of jobs, skill set and macroeconomic uncertainties.

Kushankur Dey, Bhubaneswar

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First Published: Wed, August 09 2017. 22:42 IST