Sunday, 17 June 2012

India's Presidential Election

Pranab Mukherjee's choice as UPA's candidate for the position of India's President is very welcome. Sonia Gandhi needs to be congratulated for it. Let us look at the positives:

1. He is among the most knowledgeable, competent, articulate and experienced political leaders in the
2. He is free from blemishes of which most political leaders today are accused.
3. He has an all India stature by virtue of his long and non-controversial service to the coumtry in various capacities.
4. He is nationalist, secular, non-caste-ist and non-parochial.
5. He carries an appeal beyond merely his own party.

It is a shame that some political leaders in the country, even though elected to positions of power, have yet to learn that national interest is above personal interest or party interest. They are ready to do incalculable damage to political stability and image of the country in order to promote personal interest. Foremost amongst them is Mamta Banerjee. She has yet to outgrow her training and habits as a street level rabble-rouser.

A senior and experienced leader like Mulayam Singh Yadav who has done well in UP also needs to be more cautious about his make-shift alliances and utterances. He and his son have a future in politics and must not seem to be opportunistic and irresponsible.

It is surprising that a highly respected legal mind and a senior and intelligent leader like Ram Jethmalani should throw his hat in the ring without even his party's approval or consultation.

 It is not fair on the part of some regional parties to pressurise A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to contest the election. He has said it many times that would be available only if there is no contest. He must maintain his dignity and stature by sticking to that poisition.

A contest is normal in a democracy. Let there be contest between candidates put up by recognised political parties. For the position of the president, caste and tribal considerations should be set aside. P.A. Sangma is a man of stature and experience. He should contest on his merits if a credible party puts him as a candidate.

Let democracy win. Let national interest win.