Country’s moorings & political upheavals
Er P L Khushu
During the last some time, enough upheavals and moorings of sorts took place in India. It made the people of India to face a lot of instability and insecurity in their visionary perceptions about this great country due to the errant behavior of some selfish politicians. Probably as per astrological combinations, such like situations had to occur. Only an astrologer cans deliberate. But the political situations surrounding the nation are abuzz with the rumors that country’s moorings are set to become partly more hostile and partly more volatile if not bitter. That is the situation presently. The nation has seen some unforeseen happenings occurring during the past some time, which includes some major political overtures, communal passions, regional imbalances, etc. But a situation about the future of the country is clear that this great country of India is in safe hands presently, being looked after very-well by an honest and a selfless politician cum statesman Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India. Some of the political happenings are shortly discussed as under:-
Presidential Election: As for as political overtures are concerned, the contest for the election of the post of the President of India exposed the opposition parties of their false national nexus with each other. It exposed their illusory cohesion and unorthodox love for power, to get collected as a national unit against Modi and his government. Before coming to it in detail, let the broader electoral parameters of the Presidential election to be held in July 2022. The 2022 Indian Presidential Election will be the 16th presidential election to be held in India. Presently, Ram Nath Kovind is the incumbent President of India. Article 56(1) of the Constitution of India provides that the President of India shall remain in office for a period of five years. Consequent to the expiry of the term of President Ram Nath Kovind, an election poll to fill in the office is scheduled to be held on 18 July 2022 and counting of votes will take place on 21 July 2022. On June 21, 2022, Yashwant Sinha, former BJP leader, was unanimously chosen as common candidate of UPA and other opposition parties for 2022 Presidential election. On the same day, NDA chose Draupadi Murmu as its candidate. The President of India is indirectly elected by an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both houses of parliament, the elected members of the Legislative assemblies of the 28 states and the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the union territories of Delhi, Pondicherry and Jammu & Kashmir. As of 2022, the Electoral College comprises 776 MPs and 4,123 MLAs. If all members of the electoral college become eligible to cast 1,098,903 votes, the system assigns varying numbers of votes to Electoral College members, so that the total weight of MPs and those of MLAs is roughly equal and that the voting power of states and territories are proportional, to the population, it will yield a threshold of win for a candidate with a minimum majority of 549,452 votes.
The Opposition’s bid to put up a common candidate for the July 18 presidential elections had earlier gone in disarray, and appeared also fast turning out to be a game of political one-upmanship. The dilemma of the so called unified opposition was so nude that names of various immanent persons for this post by broken opposition, like that of Sharad Pawar, Gopal Krishan Gandhi and Dr Farooq Abdullah, went into a din, while all these persons retracted back for run on one reason or the other. A big jolt to the unity bid came when their only remaining shortlisted candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi declined the offer to contest, when on June 20, a day before leaders of 17 opposition parties met in New Delhi to finalise their nominee. In this regard, a meeting was convened by NCP Chief Sharad Pawar at the Parliament; when hours before the scheduled huddle, Gandhi politely declined offer to be in the race, requesting the opposition camp to find a better candidate. He said, “Several esteemed leaders of the Opposition have done me the honor of thinking of me for the Opposition’s candidature in the upcoming elections for the highest office of Rashtrapati. I am most grateful to them. But having considered the matter deeply, I see that the Opposition’s candidate should be one who will generate a national consensus and a national atmosphere, beside opposition unity. I feel there will be others who will do this far better than I. As such, I have requested the leaders to give the opportunity to such a person”.
This certifies the mimic strength of opposition unity and dare to come with a consensus candidate with absolute hold on the truth and the amicability of such a person being acceptable to the nation as a whole, as the President of India. The announcement came as a blow to the Opposition’s effort to turn the contest into an ideological battle between Gandhi versus Godse, a false narrative with a big ideological void, if not a Myth.
Prior to that, the two other shortlisted nominees by opposition parties viz, NCP leader Sharad Pawar and National Conference Patriarch Farooq Abdullah too had declined the offer. Shiv Sena had openly stated that both Abdullah and Gandhi were not heavyweight candidates. After Pawar’s refusal, a TMC leader had said, that chance of the Opposition making the presidential poll an evenly fought contest became bleak. Sharad Pawar’s argument that he is unable to offer himself as a joint candidate of opposition for such a post, as he has still enough to do with the political gamut of the country. Unfortunately, it gave immediate results when Maharashtra Government led by MVA, which is the brain child of Sharad Pawar, fell like a pack of cards, recently. It is thus a failed political strategy adopted by him to keep cats and pigeons together for sharing power. So better, be out of race for the presidential election in the interest of the country. As for as Dr Farooq Abdullah is concerned, he must have been caught between devil and the deep sea, on this count. He would welcome such an enterprise, but must have been restricted by his own circumstances of having strongly opposed the annulling of Articles 370 and 35A, and limiting the status of Jammu & Kashmir to the status of a Union Territory. He is heading the Gupkar Alliance, a group of local political leaders of Kashmir opposing the full merger of Jammu & Kashmir with India with abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A. How can he opt for the post of the Presidential elections of the country, under the circumstances? May be he becomes a victim of his own choices. God knows better.
In fact, more than the selecting of a unanimous candidate for the presidential post, it was also to exhibit the political muscle amongst the various opposition parties particularly the congress and the TMC, as to who holds key to such a stronger muscle to lead the opposition against Modi and its government in the future elections of India. It was thus to portray himself or herself as the head of that political party as the only alternative to the choice of the possible next prime Minister of India, during the course of the next general elections in India. A wishful thinking, devoid of any force, looking to familiarity of Modi not across India only but across the whole globe. A notable proverb, ‘If wishes were horses, beggars would ride’, applies here in full. It is said that Mamta Banerjee wanted to set agenda for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, by holding such meetings in the garb of selection of the presidential candidate and project herself as the leader of the opposition group by her unilateral announcement of the joint meeting. Congress leader from Bengal allegedly said this. He said that opposition parties are just putting up a show of unity, despite their inherent differences, hoping against hope that they would get a magical glue to hold them together in their common battle against the BJP.
Yashwant Sinha, a former Union Minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government, was finally named the joint opposition candidate for President Polls. Opposition leaders, who gathered at the Parliament for the meeting convened by NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, unanimously agreed on Sinha’s name. However, Sinah had to resign from TMC, which he had of late joined in his search for a better political accommodation, after he had opted out of BJP, probably for not being adjusted properly in the party or the government. This is what is said about him. On the same day, NDA chose Draupadi Murmu as its presidential candidate. This was a master stroke by the BJP led NDA to nominate a person from tribal family of India which has been done for the first time for such an election of the highest office of the country, viz, the President of India. Draupadi Murmu, who is the first Presidential candidate from Odisha and was the first woman Governor of Jharkhand. She served as Jharkhand Governor from 2015 to 2021. Born in a poor tribal family in village of Mayurbhanj on June 20, 1958, Draupadi Murmu completed her studies despite challenging circumstances. She taught at Shri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre, Rairangpur. Despite being born in a backward district in Odisha, she strived hard to pursue BA at Ramadevi Women`s College Bhubaneswar. She started her political career as Rairangpur NAC vice-chairman. Murmu was a member of Odisha Legislative Assembly from Rairangpur between 2000 and 2004. As a Minister, she held portfolios of Transport and Commerce, Animal Husbandry & Fisheries. She again served as MLA in the Odisha assembly from 2004 to 2009. Looking to the whole scenario of voting pattern, Drapudi Murmu, the candidate of NDA, is almost sure win this prestigious election of the highest office of the country with a good margin of votes.
Fall of Maharashtra Government: A big political crises surfaced very recently, in the MVA Government of Maharashtra, when the majority of Shiv Sena MLA’s turned to be rebels and challenged the authority of Uddahv Thackeray as the sole custodian and the heir of the Shiv Sena of Bala Sahib Thackeray. It was led by Eknath Shinde a veteran Shiv Sena leader, who opted to do so as he and most of the Shiv Sena MLA’s and workers were not happy with the Uddhav Thackeray’s joining hands with Congress and the NCP, to form the government in Maharashtra, thus compromising with the idea of ‘Hindutva’ of Bala Sahib Thackeray”. Lot of noise rose, when Shinde had to take his flock of MLA’s to Guwahati and keep them there in a posh hotel, to keep them safe from the onslaught of the attacks of Shiv Sainiks in Maharashtra. Uddhav Thackeray and his coterie of Shiv Sena leaders and workers came on streets of Mumbai, to show their muscle and support, which turned to be very weak ultimately. After days of high drama and quite a few twists, Shiv Sena rebel leader Eknath Shinde was sworn in as the new chief minister of Maharashtra, with the support of BJP, when the BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis is the deputy chief minister. The surprising development came a day after Uddhav Thackeray, who led the three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi Government, stepped down as CM ahead of a floor test. So a new government has assumed the charge in the Maharashtra comprising of Shiv Sena led by Shinde and BJP. So BJP is back in power in Maharashtra. As it is said that anything is fair in love and war, so is the case with politics. BJP, having sufficient members as legislators to stake a claim for the post of Chief Minister, took the back seat in driving of the government, when its two-time Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was asked by the central leadership of BJP not to ask for Chief Ministership and accept post of the Deputy Chief Minister instead. It was a masterstroke by BJP, to exhibit that it was again a Shiv Sena Government in Maharashtra which was backed by BJP. This step shrunk size of Uddhav Thackeray as its chief, when he has lost its hold on Shiv Sena as well. “King is dead, long live the King”. Sharad Pawar as the king pin for the creation of MVA to rule Maharashtra with NCP as the main policy planner and a major partner in the government of MVA, lost the battle without fight. Does he deserve to be the President of India?
Mission South- BJP: BJP National Executive meet was held in Hyderabad just a day back. This meet is being held in Hyderabad after nearly 18 years after it was last held in 2004 during the Vajpayee era. The meet is crucial for Telangana as the BJP has decided to have the meeting here in line with its ‘Mission South’ agenda. The saffron party has been trying to consolidate its voter base in the south and this becomes crucial, as Telangana is due for its assembly elections next year Ahead of the National Executive Meet, here are five things you need to know: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President J P Nadda, Home Minister Amit Shah and top BJP leadership from the Union government including Union Ministers and Chief Ministers from BJP-ruled attended this meeting at Hyderabad International Convention Centre in Madhapur. The two-day meet witnessed more than 300 national leaders in attendance. The National Executive Meet is the party’s highest policy-making forum. BJP hopes that the meet in Hyderabad will have its impact on the neighboring state of Karnataka, where it is already in power, and Tamil Nadu and Kerala where the party has been struggling to make its presence felt. Prime Minister Modi said in the last 8 yrs, we have initiated various policies for the welfare of the poor, Dalit, backward, and tribal people. That’s why people from all sections of society have increased trust in our govt and its policies. People of Telangana are known for their hard work. People of this state have a lot of talent. Telangana is also known for its history and culture, its art and architecture are a matter of pride for all of us. In other states too, we have seen that the double-engine Govt of BJP has led to increasing trust of people in it. Even in Telangana people are paving the way for BJP’s double-engine government, said Prime Minister in Hyderabad. BJP President J P Nadda, while addressing a rally said, People are perturbed by corruption and injustice of KCR govt. The state is in loss of Rs 4.5 lakh crore under him. People gave us a good response in recent elections held at different levels. Home Minister Amit Shah said that here is no development & no employment in Telangana. “As the country moves forward, Telangana is lagging behind. This does not bode well for the state.
Uproot the TRS govt. I appeal to everyone to give BJP a chance. We will fulfill all promises that TRS did not keep,” he claimed. It is a political attempt and step taken by the top brass of BJP to make inroads in Telangana and around in Deep South.
(The author is a chartered consultant civil engineer, passionately attached and devoted to his motherland – Jammu & Kashmir).