The term of the current President of India Dr Pranab Mukherjee will come to an end on July 25, thus marking the beginning of another political battle.
The Electoral college that elects the President consists of the elected members of the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and the state assemblies including the union territories of Delhi and Puducherry.
The President’s post may not be as important as other elected posts, as the President of India is only the formal head whereas true administrative power lie in the hands of the prime minister, having said that the post of the President is a coveted one and one that cannot be ignored.
For the very first time, the NDA will have a very high chance of placing the leader of its choice in the President’s office. During Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure, the NDA was unable to round up required numbers to have a president of its choice, which is why they had to nominate Dr Abdul Kalam, a prominent figure, which nobody could oppose. This time, the NDA has dominated not only the Union Parliament but also the state Assemblies.
After its spectacular victory in the Uttar Pradesh polls, the BJP is closer than ever to having a President from its party.
This election can also become a moment of opportunity for the Opposition. After suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of the BJP in the state elections, the Opposition can put forth the name of a candidate, who has a unanimous consensus from all the non-NDA parties.
It might even be the beginning of a united opposition that can take on the political might of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Having said that, the odds are clearly in favour of the ruling NDA. The support from a regional parties like the Bharatiya Janata Dal (BJD) or the AIADMK will give the NDA a clear victory. On the other hand, every opposition party will have to unite to emerge victorious but looking at the current political scenario, this seems impossible. The presidential election will be one that the strategist in the BJP will not let go of easily.
A victory in this election will solidify the position of the NDA at the Centre and will elevate Amit Shah to a status of a demigod within the BJP as he is the man responsible for the phenomenal comeback of the saffron brigade — after its defeat in the 2009 Lok Sabha election. This election allows the BJP to complete its domination of the Union government.
A BJP party president will be ideal for the reformist agenda. Reforms that were previously stuck under the regime of other governments stand a chance of being passed now. Moreover, the government will acquire the power of passing an ordinance at its will.