Aimed at fostering transparency and informed decision-making, former Supreme Court judge Madan B Lokur, former High Court Chief Justice AP Shah, and veteran journalist N Ram have extended invitations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for a public debate concerning the ongoing Lok Sabha Election of 2024.

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister and the Congress leader, the trio said that the members of public have heard only allegations and challenges from either side and have not heard any “meaningful response”. Saying that today’s digital world has a great propensity for misinformation, misrepresentation and manipulation, they underscored the importance of making the public well-educated about all aspects so that they can make an informed choice at the elections.

“We write to you as citizens of India who have performed our duty to the country in various capacities. We approach you with a proposal that we believe is non partisan and in the larger interest of every citizen,” the letter stated.

As the halfway mark of the 18th Lok Sabha’s general election approaches, both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the principal opposition Indian National Congress (INC) have raised significant concerns pertaining to the fundamental tenets of constitutional democracy during their campaign rallies and public addresses.

Publicly, the Prime Minister has challenged the Congress on issues ranging from reservations and Article 370 to wealth redistribution. In response, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has questioned the government’s handling of constitutional integrity, the controversial electoral bond scheme, and its stance towards China. Kharge has also extended a challenge to the Prime Minister for a public debate.

The exchange between the two major parties has also delved into discussions regarding their respective manifestos and their adherence to the constitutionally safeguarded principles of social justice.

The trio behind the invitation expressed their conviction that a nonpartisan and non-commercial platform for such a debate would greatly benefit citizens.

“A public debate such as this would therefore set a great precedent not just by educating the public but also in projecting the true image of a healthy and vibrant democracy,” stated the letter which was shared by Ram in his ‘X’ handle.

MTNews Desk

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