CHURUMURI POLL: Should Shivaraj Patil resign?

An astonishing aspect of the current political atmosphere is the complete lack of accountability—or demands for it. Heads are demanded and heads roll when a politician is caught in some minor sexual peccadillo, in a sting operation, or a corruption scandal. But the slaughter of scores of hard-working Indians in City after City across the nation, and the burgeoning fear “psychosis” that threatens to rip the country asunder, barely evokes a squeak either from the media or from the opposition.

Shivaraj Patil is a standout case. Rejected by the voters of Latur in the 2004 elections but resurrected by the Congress in one of those actions that beggars belief, Patil’s performance as Union home minister has been dull, lack-lustre and insipid. Not only has Patil presided over blast after serial blast, he has seemed as clueless as everybody else. Even the Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, whom he personally credits for helping him preside over an unruly Lok Sabha as Speaker, seems to be in no position to provide help at this critical juncture.

Question: Should the man who has helplessly watched the Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bombay, Hyderabad, Jaipur blasts and countless other incidents resign? And if the Congress high command is unwilling, should the “new, improved” Manmohan throw him out to show Singh is King after the trust-vote?