It’s been more than a month now, and many pundits are dubbing this to be the most interesting presidential elections since 1977. They say in politics a week is a long time, and by this saying the current controversy seems to have been going on since ages! Long-time friends have turned foes & allies are pitted against each other. There have been difference of opinions within the parties themselves, none more apparent than among the Communists, NCP and JD.
All this over what has been for long been considered a figurehead position with all real power being concentrated in the hands of the Prime Minister and his council of ministers.
The current presidential election, however, has brought into focus the importance of a President in the current political scenario of India. The term of office of Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, President of India, ends on 24th July, 2012. An election to fill the vacancy caused by the expiration of the term of office of the outgoing President shall need to be completed before the end of her term.
Pranab Mukherjee may eventually win without a problem but his 40 years political career is not exceptional beyond scrutiny. Old timers recall his record of excesses during the infamous Emergency imposed in June 1975 by Indira Gandhi– for which Mukherjee was hauled up by the Shah Commission. DMK welcomed the nomination of Pranab Mukherjee and Karunanidhi sent a letter to Ms. Gandhi congratulating her on her choice and another to Mr. Mukherjee wishing him success.
The other contender P.A. Sangma was the first to jump in to the ring for the post of the President of India, a former Lok Sabha Speaker his candidature was first supported by the Biju Janata Dal, then by the AIADMK and later, when APJ Abdul Kalam dropped out of the race, by the parties which oppose Pranab Mukherjee. Despite, Sangma having non-realistic chances the former speaker has said that a miracle will see him become the first Tribal President of India!
When fractured verdicts have become more common than before the President holds the prerogative of inviting who he thinks can form the government.And there-in lies the reason for the bitter political fight that is taking place within the political establishments of the country for a completely apolitical post! The two major alliances, UPA and NDA, competing to be in power in the Centre are using this election as the preparing ground for the 2014 parliamentary elections. In this case the nomination of candidates assumes more importance as it can become either a precursor for the forging of new alliances. On the other hand, the nomination of a particular candidate can prove to be the alliance breaker. The best example of this is the opposition of the UPA candidate, Pranab Mukherjee, by the all-important partner in UPA – the Trinamool Congress. The presidential election may, well, be termed as indicator of the mood of the various parties before the 2014 parliamentary elections.
I wonder when we will move ahead of these tokenisms and re-elect a person of Abdul Kalam‘s stature unanimously!
“Kaun Banega President?“. I do not foresee any miracles and Pranab Mukherjee will be elected on 19th July 2012 as the 13th President of India!