President Pranab Mukherjee’s term is ending on July 24 and our entire attention is currently drawn to who will be India’s next First Citizen.
The BJP-led NDA is busy meeting Opposition leaders in a bid to ensure that the next President is a consensus candidate. But as Opposition leaders would tell, it’s an impulsive and a half-baked effort.
The Government does not have a name to gain consensus on. It is simply preparing the grounds for tomorrow, testing waters. This approach has achieved nothing. Rather, it reveals the silliness of the move.
BJP has indicated that NDA’s candidate would file the nomination on June 23, before Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for a three-nation tour. There was hardly any sense in reaching out to the Opposition parties prematurely. There was nothing to show for.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has called its MPs and MLAs to Delhi for signing nomination papers for the Presidential Election, the process that begins on Monday. The party’s Parliamentary Board meeting will also be attended by PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. The party has prepared four sets of nomination papers, leaving the space for the name of the candidate blank.
If the ruling BJP-led NDA and the Opposition fail to reach an agreement on a common candidate, polling will be held on July 17, with the individual nominations facing each other
Parties like Samajwadi Party wants the next President to have a political background, and shouldn’t be a politician like APJ Abdul Kalam. CPI believes the person should be secular and liberal, not hardcore (read RSS). Others insist on consensus.
TVON wants a people’s candidate. The President of India cannot just be political, liberal and secular. The person has to have more.
The President must connect with the people. We need a people’s President, not politicians. Ultimately, power depends less on the office and more on the individual. APJ Abdul Kalam was a people’s President. Unlike Pratibha Patil, who, despite having political heritage, didn’t enjoy the confidence of people, President Kalam was always among us. He represented honesty and transparency. He refused to bend to political will, and always put the country first in his execution of a President’s duty.
Sushma Swaraj has the character to make a fine Ms. President.
She is the most suitable person in all possible ways. Moreover, the Opposition would not have any problem with her. Sushma Swaraj also has the blessings of the RSS. Due to health conditions, she is unable to travel abroad frequently, a pre-requisite for any External Affairs Minister. Presidentship would allow her to focus on the welfare of the country without jeopardizing her health. She has been applauded for her humanitarian and her contribution to India’s foreign policy.
But most importantly, she enjoys an emotional relationship with the people of India. And she’s just a tweet away.