Bizarre Happenings: The Indian Presidential Fix!
President of any country is the honorable first citizen of that country and election of such a personality ought to be honorable and prestigious too. But Indian politics continues to defy all thoughts of any honor. Bizarre happenings are the order of the day to corner a weak coalition government and capitalize on the chances of a mid-term poll. That the Indian President is to be elected hardly makes any difference to any politician.
India is set to elect the 13th President of the country on July 19, 2012 with results coming out on July 22 as the current President Pratibha Patil will be ending her term on July 24, 2012. For the last two months politicking has been going on to suggest possible candidates with unholy differentiations of ‘theirs’ and ‘ours’. For the first citizen politics has been of the third kind!
The main national opposition party was the first to start the process by suggesting the candidature of APJ Abdul Kalam (President for 2002-2007) for a second term. While there was no doubt about the worthiness of this brilliant scientist the party not only not consult their allies but even did not inform or get the consent of the candidate concerned.
The Congress party—mainstay of the ruling coalition—had been discussing names like that of the current finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, current Vice-President Hamid Ansari and a few others. In fact, Pranab Mukherjee was slowly emerging as the consensus candidate as nobody irrespective political affiliations could ever question his experience, dexterity and statesmanship. On the contrary, a few coalition leaders were questioning the advisability of his candidature since by that decision the coalition government would be losing the services of one of its most seasoned politicians.
But ‘their’ candidates could not be ‘ours’, opposition political parties thought. And, in came Mamata Banerji who had already earned quite a name for creating headlines for all wrong reasons in recent times. The irrepressible Chief Minister of West Bengal rejected the coalition candidates outright though her party continued to be a part of it. She rejected even her fellow Bengali leader Pranab Mukherjee, because she reportedly never wanted Congress influence in her state politics. Mind you, her party is Trinamool (grass-root) Congress (T,MC) and not just ‘congress’!Continued on the next page