The race for the post of next President of India is hotting up. Both the ruling party and the opposition are desperate to ensure that their candidate occupies Rashtrapati Bhavan. As of now, it looks as though the Narendra Modi led government has the numbers in the electoral college on its side and would have no problem in appointing the President after Pranab Mukherjee steps down in the month of July.
There are many names doing the rounds, but the strongest one we get to hear is that of Draupadi Murmu, the Jharkhand Governor. If elected she would be the first tribal to occupy the post. The other names in circulation are- Pranab Mukherjee, L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Amitabh Bachchan, Najma Heptullah, Sushma Swaraj and Mohan Bhagwat. Will Modi pick from these names. Let us explain why these candidates won't be picked by Modi as the next President of India.
For starters the chief of the RSS, Bhagwat has already said that he is not in the race to become President. Moreover Modi would like to keep the RSS away from controversy and would also want to ensure that there is a candidate at Rashtrapati Bhavan who would listen to him.
She is in the race for Rasina Hill. The governor of Manipur, Najma Heptullah had in fact expressed that she would like to become President. She had said so to Amit Shah in 2016. However the one factor that may go against her is that she was originally from the Congress. She joined the BJP only ahead of the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. This would be a compulsion for Modi to select her.
The star from Bollywood would have been a consensus candidate. There were very strong rumours that he would be picked for the post. He also shares a great rapport with Modi and also promotes the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. However with his name figuring in the Panama Papers tax evasion case he lost out on the race.
Modi has had absolutely no problem in dealing with Mukherjee as President. In fact the relationship has been more than cordial considering Pranab is from the Congress. The question however is why would the BJP which has scored one emphatic victory after another give a Congressman the post, especially when it can install its candidate as the President.
L K Advani
Modi had said recently that making Advani the President would be his gurudakshina. While there is really no confirmation that Modi had said that, the bigger point is does he share a cordial relationship with Advani? What has made Advani's case weaker is Babri Masjid case in which he was asked by the Supreme Court to face trial. This is quite a hinderance for Advani.
Murli Manohar Joshi
Joshi's name was also in circulation. However it may be recalled that Joshi at the Goa meet ahead of the 2014 elections had opposed Modi's candidature for the post of Prime Minister. The RSS is not averse to Joshi as the next President of India. However Modi is not one to forget and the Goa incident would be fresh in his mind. Moreover the Babri case too has stung Joshi and this could have come in the way of rise to Rasina Hill.