The Bold Voice of J&K

Divided ideology

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After election of President, once again the democratic exercise would see the polarisation of ideologies for electing a new Vice-President of India. The outcome of this contest everyone knows which is between M Venkaiah Naidu of the BJP and other NDA allies, and Gopalkrishna Gandhi, sponsored by the Congress and its allies. Members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha constitute the elite electoral college. The contest is unequal in terms of merit. Naidu should romp home comfortably, who is a member of the Rajya Sabha, Gopalkrishna Gandhi is not a member of either of House of Parliament, and hence cannot vote in the election. So the edge is already there. The Vice-Presidential job is a constitutional office; but the most substantive part of the Vice-President’s job is his role as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. It is in this role that a Vice-President gets tested and, judged. The Rajya Sabha is a rule-based institution and it is the responsibility of the Chairman to summon the requisite neutrality and fair-mindedness; it is for the Chairman to protect the Rajya Sabha’s autonomy and voice. In this context BJP getting its man on the mantel surely would be an advantage. The party has been uncomfortable as far as numbers in Upper House was concerned. Venkaiah Naidu is no fresher as far as politics is concerned and has been around for a while. Being a strong BJP man he surely would have impact on the House proceedings. Last time a BJP man adorned that office was Bhairon Singh Shekhawat a man of high stature. The ongoing present election is the 15th of such to the office of Vice President. Prior to this elections were held in 1952, 1957, 1962, 1967, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007 and 2012. The deepening polarisation for this election is much more than political; it is being seen by the two major political parties as a larger battle of ideas and visions. With the completion of Vice President’s elections BJP will have all the four offices of President, Vice President, Prime Minister and the Speaker.

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