Wednesday, June 13, 2012



The Congress Party finds itself caught in a bind by the decision of the Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav and the Trinamool Congress of Miss Mamata Banerjee to propose in public their own options as possible Presidential candidates which are totally different from  the preferences of the Congress.

2. According to the TMC, the preferences of the Congress  are Shri Pranab Mukherjee , the Finance Minister, and Dr.Hamid Ansari, the Vice-President. Shri Yadav and Miss Banerjee have sought to circumvent the preferences of the Congress without having to reject them by proposing three options of their own, namely,Dr.Abdul Kalam, former President, Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh and Shri Somnath Chatterjee, former Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

3. Through their preferences indicated in public, Shri Yadav and Miss Banerjee have sought to convey three messages to Mrs.Sonia Gandhi, the Congress President.Firstly, the political paralysis and the economic melt-down in the country can be broken only by changing the Prime Minister without humiliating him. Secondly, the only way of doing so will be by elevating him as the President.Thirdly, if Mrs.Sonia Gandhi wants a Congress candidate as the President, it can be only Dr.Manmohan Singh and not Shri Pranab  Mukherjee.

4. The Congress is now facing two cruel alternatives both of which could cause it a loss of face.Firstly, it defiantly goes ahead with the candidature of Shri Pranab Mukherjee hoping that he could somehow scrape through.This could be unlikely if the SP and the TMC manage to persuade Dr.Kalam to contest against Pranabda.If Kalam is a candidate against Pranabda, the NDA allies and the Tamil Parties from Tamil Nadu may join the SP and the TMC in supporting him thereby making it difficult for Pranabda to win. Shri Karunanidhi has hinted on many occasions that while he may have no problem in supporting Pranabda, the situation could change for his party if there is a son of the soil from Tamil Nadu in the fray.

5. Secondly or alternatively, the Congress could accept the face-saving offered by the SP and the TMC by dumping Pranabda and persuading Dr.Manmohan Singh to contest the Presidential poll. Such a decision by the Congress could have a negative impact on both Pranabda and Dr.MMS and could be seen as a loss of face by both of them.

6.This could create a serious crisis in the Congress, thereby further damaging its authority and credibility and further affecting its ability to continue to govern the country.If a non-Congress candidate such as Abdul Kalam becomes the President, the Congress may not be able to suggest new elections at a time of its choosing because the President may not accept its recommendation.

7. From the developments of June 13, it is fairly clear that by its ham-handed handling of the search for a Presidential candidate, the Congress Party has lost control of the political ground situation.Whichever way the situation evolves, it will be seen as a loss of face for the Congress.

8. The definite loss for the Congress need not necessarily be a definite gain for the opposition parties because their political incompatibilities are bound to come out in the open and render the situation intractable as the Presidential elections approach. ( 13-6-12)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi,and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: Twitter: @SORBONNE75)


ambi said...

Whenever i see manmohan singh and today’s India’s economic situation, it reminds me of a joke which ex US President Ronald Regan told to ex fed chairman alan greenspan. I first burst into laughter when i read it, but as i realize the depth and seriousness behind it, chill goes down my spine.
As the joke goes: in earlier USSR Comrade Brezhnev was observing the annual military parade at red square. first came the army, then commandos, then navy followed by airforce, then tanks followed, later missiles. And now program was about to end then only spectators found a bizarre scene. After the missiles a bunch of civilians was following the missiles, they were extremely shabby looking, without any military drill, looking here n there, waving hands to spectators. They were looking so odd. All the fellow comrades got cold feet. They knew there ass is going to get kicked. One of them hurriedly went to Comrade Brezhnev ”forgive me sir, but i really don’t know how these guys managed to get in. Pls give me some time, i ll find it and let you know. Brezhnev calmly told them, don’t worry i have specially invited them to be a part of the parade. They are our most talented economists and my most lethal weapon. (Once penetrated in the enemy country) you don’t know what damage they can do.
Our fureeen return talented economist pm. Manmohan singh. our economic hitman. Ha ha ha !
On a serious note, when Shankar Sharma left the stock market then only i realized crisis in congress is far deep, its just a matter of time before it comes out open.

Soumya Kumar said...

An excellent analysis without the verbosity that we saw our TV anchors and commentators indulged in without any inhibition. Clarity is the hallmark

subra said...

The Congress Party had never come to terms with coalition politics and was behaving in the same imperial manner it had adopted in its earlier days. It has no culture or even the decency to consult with other parties whether in the UPA or in opposition on any major issue. Most of the decisions were taken at mdnight and handed over to the nation creating chaos and mayhem. It leaves no room for negotiations with them or retraction. This has happened glaringly in economic policies. They announced FDI in retail with fanfare and had to retrack in no time. The whole world attacks them over policy paralysis.

This selection of a candidate for the country's highest office is no exception. The Party surrendered it to Sonia and hoped that she was the saviour. Now the Congress cadres are running helter skelter and are cluelss. Earlier, they humiliated Mulayam and also talked of checkmating Mamta with Mulayam. They did not realise that thw two - Mualyam and Mamta could join and turn formidable. Sow wind and you will reap whirl wind - Sonia may not know this English adage having hailed from Italy ansd used to years of craven sycophancy from the Congree herd.

Vihan said...

Couple of points :

0)I don't agree with you when you say ``The political paralysis and the economic melt-down in the country can be broken only by changing the Prime Minister without humiliating him". Why would Mulayam and Mamta suggest such a thing when the éminence grise has always been Sonia Gandhi and everyone knows this.

1)I have a rather mischevious thought, which I am sure will invite the ire of many. Can Sonia Gandhi herself become President? What happens if someone proposes her name?

Best Regards,

- vihan

Esoteric said...

Few points.

- If SP supports Kalam,its game over Congress.Mamata has already declared that support.With AIADMK/DMK & other NDA parties.Kalam will be President.Which would ensure non-Gandhi PM if there is a change.

- Ive maintained end-2012 as the time by when we will see corrupt leaders jailed.Im tempted to advance the date but on second thoughts.It might take six months for wrap up.So would rather stick with the prediction.

If MSY firmly sticks with Kalam's candidature;we might see inner churn in Cong.

Dr Satya Saraswat said...

What about Priyanka Gandhi for the post of President?