President of India elections -2017While the present incumbent Pranab Mukharjee is all set bid farewell to his Raisina Hills residence (Rastrapati Bhavan) at Delhi on 25th July this year, India is seriously thinking about the to be the first citizen of the country. The people at the helm of affairs may have their own preferences to select the new incumbent for the top post of India but the person should be a right choice to uphold the dignity and should be capable of taking crucial decisions at right moments.
Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam who became the President of India by chance really proved to be the best among all that India has ever had. The 'Missile Man' showed his prudence in handling the much typical situations while other Presidents like K R Narayanan, R Venkatraman and Jail Singh too have proved that the role of a president is not to merely giving consent to the proposals of the Union Government. In fact, the very first President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad has set certain standards and culture for the post of this highest constitutional authority such as true statesmanship, apolitical conduct and non-partisanship which are essential for a person to act independently.
Ramanth Kovind - the NDA nomineeThe ruling NDA has made everyone to raise their eyebrows on its announcement of their nominee for the Presidential post. An advocate by profession, Ramnath Kovind presently serving as Governor of Bihar has been the surprise pick by Modi and his team. It is a wise move by BJP by fielding a dalit leader in the President's election 2017 which would enable them to consolidate growing support among backward castes and poor. The Modi Government has already been branded as a pro-poor Government and their reach out to Bihar Governor to take up the mantle of the next President of India would definitely reflect the image of making a common man a national figure. Ramanth Kovind is going to be India's second Dalit president after KR Narayanan (1997 to 2002) when an official announcement would be made after the final results are out by the CEC.
A brief sketch of RamnathThe man hails from Dehar District located around the rural Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. He belongs to a farmer's family and actively participated to uplift the Dalits and other deprived classes. He is a strict disciple and known for donation of his ancestral house in his native Parunkh village for his party. He was the Dalit Morcha President of BJP wing at National level and also served as the official Spokesperson of the BJP. He desired to become a Civil servant and appeared for Civil services Examination twice where he couldn't succeed. He did his B Com and LLB from Kanpur University and later moved to Delhi in 1973 to prepare for Civil Services Examinations. The third attempt made him to be ticked for allied services but he preferred to continue his profession as lawyer and be came the bar association President of Delhi High Court. He was the Union Government standing Counsel for many years. He was an advocate by profession and served as a Central Government Advocate in the Delhi High Court from 1977 to 1979 and Central Government Standing Counsel in Supreme Court from 1980 to 1993. He joined BJP (erstwhile Jansangh) in 1977 and served as Private Secretary to Morarji Desai during his tenure as Prime Minister. The 71 year old veteran has also served as MP (Rajya Sabha) for two terms during 1994-2000 and 2000-2006. He has also chaired many Parliamentary committees during his tenure and also represented India in the United Nations. His address in the UN General Assembly in October, 2002 was considered to be one of the best speeches from an Indian representative focusing various global issues . He was nominated as the Governor of Bihar in August 2015.
The option for the opposition Modi played a political master stroke by choosing the Bihar Governor as his party's nominee for the next President of India. Expectations were centered around Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Sumitra Mahajan and the Jarkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu. Congress and the Communists are working for better option though they don't have the requisite numbers with them to give a fight as smaller parties like TRS, AIADMK and YSR Congress have already extended their support to NDA before the announcement of the President election itself. The decision of JD (U) led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to support their Governor so that he can travel smoothly from Rajbhavan to Rastrapatibhavan is a major blow to the opposition parties. The BJD in Odisha is also in favour of Kovind
Finally the Congress led opposition which includes the Communists decided to field former Union Minister and Speaker of Lok Sabha Miera Kumar, daughter of Late Jagjivan Ram. A former Civil Servant from Indian Foreign Service made her political entry after the death of her father Jagjivan Ram, the fromer Dy Prime Minister.She was the first woman to hold the post of Speaker of the Lok Sabha during the UPA Government's second tenure.
Sum upHis constitutional expertise being an advocate in Supreme Court would surely help him to function as the President of India as his win is almost sure as per the number of Electoral College being in favour of NDA and with the support of other parties like AIADMK, TRS, YSRCP and Shivsena. The BSP also assured of its support in case the opposition fails to pick up a Dalit for the coveted post. It is major political milestone in the history of India if he steps in as the new President from the green fields of Dehar District (UP) to Raisana Hills in Delhi.
Jagdish Patro is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to ISC and other websites. Fond of reading books, novels and spends his leisure time by listening to music. He did his B.Sc in Applied Chemistry and his M.Sc in Resource Development Technology. He edited and published an in-house monthly journal by name ‘Srujana’ during 2009-2011 which was totally a private circulation.
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