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Updated: May 1, 2012 10:49 IST

BJP won't back Pranab or Ansari

Special Correspondent
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With an eye on 2014 elections, BJP may field a candidate for the Presidential polls, says senior BJP leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj .
The Hindu photo Library With an eye on 2014 elections, BJP may field a candidate for the Presidential polls, says senior BJP leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj .

Breaking its silence on the presidential election, the BJP has announced that it will not support either of the two choices of the Congress — Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Vice-President Hamid Ansari.

The Congress, which has initiated consultations with its allies, has indicated its preference for either of them.

Sources in the party said that if need be, in exchange for support to its presidential candidate, it would agree to a vice-presidential candidate from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

The name that Congress sources offered on Monday was that of Shiromani Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal. The presidential election in July will be followed by the vice-presidential election in August. The BJP would very much like to see Mr. Badal as Vice-President, but certainly not as part of a “deal” with the Congress.

The main Opposition party disclosed the broad parameters which would guide its strategy, after a meeting of the party brass in Parliament House.

As things stand, the BJP would neither propose a candidate of its choice nor strike a deal with the Congress, under which it would have to back its presidential candidate as a quid pro quo for that party's support to the vice-presidential nominee.

Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj said the Samajwadi Party had put out “feelers” mentioning the name of the former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. “We will support him if Dr. Kalam is willing to contest.”

Ms. Swaraj said the BJP would not back the candidature of Mr. Mukherjee as he was an active Congress leader or that of Mr. Ansari as he did not have the “stature.”

Explaining the rationale behind the party's decision, she said: “We are looking at the 2014 elections…”

Don't speculate: Pranab

When journalists asked Mr Mukherjee whether he was emerging as the consensus candidate, he said: “Oh my goodness...oh my goodness...” “Don't indulge in any speculation,” he said smiling, when asked whether his name was discussed during Defence Minister A. K. Antony's meeting with DMK chief M. Karunanidhi in Chennai on Sunday.

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Given that President of India is a ceremonial one the parties should leverage the IPL season and expect that cricket crazy fans to vote for them in next elections. Following are my suggestions:
Congress - Sachin Tendulkar
Mamata/Left Parties - Saurav Ganguly,
Telugu Desam - VVS Lakshman
JD (S) - Kumble/Dravid
Samajwadi - Suresh Raina
BJP - Viru/Kohli/Dhoni
Dravidian Parties - Ashwin

from:  Hemnath
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 15:15 IST

When it comes to sacrificing national interest,no party in the clear as is evident from the immature and uncharitable comment made by an eminent leader about the stature of the current vice-president. If one has to compare statures of the leaders and their unsuitability to occupy posts which have public expectation on qualities of role model and leadership character, then all political parties are culpable on this criteria as they have done nothing to eliminate with one stroke passing of a bill by consensus in the parliament that party presidents will be held criminally accountable to the nation and the Supreme Court if persons with documented or known criminal background, moral turpitude or with cases pending against them of criminal,civil, moral nature are nominated by them to positions of governance, legislation or other public offices. Needless debates without good taste on esteemed persons of repute like Hameed Ansari and Kalam has resulted by thoughtless political expediency.

from:  r n iyegar
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 09:08 IST

I think any president after Honourable Shrimati Pratibha Patilji would be a positive
change. Never has Indians felt so helpless that scams after scams have been
cropping up and the Prime Minister or the President does not feel that it is their
moral responsibility to answer to the nation, that why such a state of affairs in a
nation that is supposed to be growing for better. For a real change we need not a
powerful and honest 'rubber stamp' but a powerful and honest Leader in the form
of the Prime Minister. I think APJ Abdul Kalaam should consider coming back to a
constitutional post only as a Prime Minister and no less than that. An active
forthright and incorruptible PM along with a good team of Cabinet ministers will
make a difference in todays system. Make anyone the President, It really does not
matter.

from:  Ravi Maniar
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 22:28 IST

There is nothing wrong in BJP decision to oppose both Pranab and
Ansari.Ansari really doesn't has the stature to be a president and he
would be another rubber stamp like Pratibha.At best his presidency might
satisfy the ego of left parties and congress.Parnab is qualified but he
should be in government as it has no worthwhile talent.BJP never said
they were sponsoring Kalam candidature.They merely said if consensus emerged on kalam name they will have no problems in supporting him.Media
is twisting facts for sensation

from:  chinmay
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 18:29 IST

Shanmuganathan,
If Pratiba Patel can become the president of India then why cant
Sachin Tendulkar ? He is a good human being and is a great ambassador
for the country.
The congress has already made a mockery of the system by naming all
ill suited people. How many Indians knew Pratiba before she became the
president ?
Also you are talking about BJP striking a deal with Congress. As
responsible citizens we should be asking for a qualified and respected
individual as the president and not encourage political deals.

from:  Sathish Kumar
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 18:28 IST

The fact that, people with prior political affections should not hold the President's office. Such people will not be unbiased in fulfilling their duties. Most of the time, the ruling party nominates a person, who says, "yes Sir/Maam", while there is other unbiased responsibilities in terms of the upholding the constitution. But the ruling party is bent on having a rubber stamp in this place.

from:  Krishna S Bala
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 17:24 IST

Make any person of impeccable integrity and a potential to lead a path of
development, so long as he or she is not a Congress and Gandhi lackey/sycophant,
the President. We've seen what our current "President" has done to the post and
the number of air miles she has logged. Its a shame that leaders of political
parties (RJD & BSP), who are at mercy of the Center with regards to corruption
allegation and CBI investigation, suggest names not based on merit but based on
what suits them best. Lets just hope the next President is not a cook or a chauffeur of the "revered" family. And like V. Shanmuganthan said, Sachin
Tendulkar for President's post is the most absurd thing I've heard.

from:  Ankit
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 16:31 IST

How about someone from this list, in no particular order

1. Mr. Kurien (Amul)
2. Mr. Shreedharan (Delhi Metro)
3. Mr. Montek Singh Aluwalia (Planning commission)
4. Mr. Kalam (Ex - President)
5. Mr. M.S. Swaminathan (Green revolution)
6. Mr. K.V. Kamat (ICICI)
7. Mr. Naik ( L &T)
8. Mr. T.N. Seshan
9. Mr. Narayanamurthy (Infosys)

from:  Sudharsan
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 12:00 IST

The long past history of our country is testimonial that the party backed presidents were and have been lenient towards their respective parties... Mr. Ansari on the Lokpal bill in rajya sabha is just one instance among hundred. we need a president who should act as the check point for the ruling government not as a rubber stamp (K R.Narayan was a tough president and he declared and proved that he was not a rubber stamp). Dr.Kalam may be considered because he has shown some guts to invoke the powers of the president and he is the president of the masses, isn't he? BJP supporting a neutral candidate because they fathom on the 50% possibility to form a government after the 2014 general election and it is safe for them to opt for non-congress presidential candidate... and next president's term will generally end in 2017 that means the 50% probable BJP goverment will have work with him for minimum three years... Its all a politricks...

from:  Biju Ashok
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 11:29 IST

It is not understood how the BJP the prime opposition think that the ruling Congress should support the Candidature for the President of their [BJP's] choice? The electoral college arithmetic favors the UPA and their choice of Candidate for the post of President will win with the support of SP & BSP and hence it is better for the BJP to support the candidate of the ruling party and ask for their choice for the Vice-President post.
And for God's sake please don't name the likes of Sachin Tendulkars for the Presidents Post as suggested by Mr,krish.

from:  V.Shanmuganathan
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 11:17 IST

I can understand the rejection of Pranabda and Hamid as potential Preseident. Both of them are lackeys of the Gandhi family and can never give the post the dignity it demands. BJP not fielding a candidate of its own shows that it's not confident of winning.
To repair the damage caused by the current President to the office, why not rope in Dr Amrtya Sen. This serves the dual purposes of a Bengali occupying the high office and a person of international stature like Dr Kalam serving as President.

from:  mani sandilya
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 09:28 IST

Neither Dr. Kalam nor Mr. Anasri has any antecedent that will render them unsuitable for the post of the President.Having said that, one wonders why every five years, there should be such a controversy over selection of a person, leading to avoidable embarassment to the persons whose names are being widely discussed with 'evaluations' of the merits and demerits by the individual political leaders.In my view, Dr. Kalam should kill the idea of any proposal being floated by any group, keeping in mind that during the previous occasion, he sounded on 'winnability' as an essential criteria for giving his nod to contest. He, given the high reputation and esteem he enjoys can agree to be the President, if all the parties unanimously propose his name with no other contestant.

from:  Shekar
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 08:59 IST

In our contry, president exercises minimal influence on the way the government works & how it governs the contry. Considering this scenario, a candidate for president should be a very dynamic person who can inspire youth of the country with his personality,ideals & visions like Mr. Kalam & not like mrs pratibha patil who was only in news for her casual trips to other countries. I wish the president should have more powers wherein he can run a superior group like lokayukta out of bounds of the govenrment & keep checks on the way various units of government works.

from:  mahesh
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 08:52 IST

I think James Micheal Lyngdoh will be a good option..!!!!!

from:  Rajib Hawaibam
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 08:24 IST

correct me if i m wrong, but the post of president in republic of India is political,so why there should be non political person. when electoral college comprises all politician, how could the choose a person out of their political frame. Need of hour is to choose a person who is having prowess to communicate abroad and act strongly to harness his/her duties.

from:  Naresh Sarwal
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 08:01 IST

Kalamji is the most suitable person for the top post. He is the only person to motivate the youngster and everyone can take him as role model and he can inspire every student community .

from:  dharmaraj
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 07:28 IST

Mr.Kalam, if he is sensible, should keep off this race to become the president again. He had his tenure during which he did a good job. He should not get back again and get into a mess but keep his reputation intact.

from:  P.Tauro
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 06:40 IST

We need to scrap the post of the president. Ever wondered why we need a president
in the first place?. Can't we just have some standard rules on who should be called to form the next government?. Couldn't it be handled by the Chief Justice?. We the people never question authority or the law. No matter how ridiculous it is. Abolish this stupid post!

from:  Suresh
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 04:27 IST

One person the honest people of India will choose APJ Abdul Kalam. In this moment of distrust in the government this would be the only wise choice. A morale booster, a ray of hope, a lifeline.

from:  Hari Nair
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 04:19 IST

i think Mr Ansari is suitable candidate for this post.

from:  Ali Tanoli
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 02:07 IST

Don't we have a single Indian accepted by one and all? We should consider Nirupama Rao a great diplomat of exceptional calibre. Hindu managing director Narasimhan Ram or MJ Akbar from India today. AP governor Narasimhan or TN Seshan (Retired Chief Election Commissioner) Mr Shyam Benegal 'film director', would fit the position perfectly.

from:  Dr RKRAO REBBAPRAGADA
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 00:40 IST

Indian President must be an independent, unbiaed and non-political national who contributed to the growth and well-being of India. Shame to talk about Pranab Mukherjee who was one of those have close relationship wioth alleged war criminal SL regime that commits crimes against humanity.

from:  Shiva
Posted on: May 1, 2012 at 00:38 IST

Why not Sachin Tendulkar for President? It is a honorary post anyway and he will be better suited to it than as a MP.

from:  Kris
Posted on: Apr 30, 2012 at 23:59 IST

Last week some names popped out which includes S.Y.Quarish the man behind cleaning election commission. Some how his name came, if it was true. I believe he will make clean India.

from:  Mohammed Nooman
Posted on: Apr 30, 2012 at 21:20 IST

A P J Abdul kalam or any other visionaries like him may be elected as our President.

from:  K P Reveendran Nair
Posted on: Apr 30, 2012 at 20:24 IST

There are so many potential candidates for the prestigious presidential
post. I don't see a reason why everyone is after pranab, ansari, badal or
Kalam sir, with all due respect he is quite old now. Why don't we look at
100 greatest Indians for eg: Dr. Raj Reddy or Amartya Sen. It is time we
honor someone from the hidden gems of the country by offering the honor to
serve his/her country as President of India.

from:  N. Ravi kanth
Posted on: Apr 30, 2012 at 20:20 IST

The Election of President and Vice-President is gaining importance due to the fluid political situation prevalent in the country with scams, corruption etc. Every Young Indian would like to see the President & Vice-President to spend more time in touring and understanding rural India and understand its problems and help ordinary people to better their lives.

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: Apr 30, 2012 at 20:11 IST

i think., no one from the political background is eligible for the highest post of nation.. (by education, honesty, talent and sense).. very sad. that is why, they themselves are not much firm on the decisions..

from:  sayeed
Posted on: Apr 30, 2012 at 19:58 IST

The observations by the BJP leader on the candidature of Mr Ansari as being reported is very unfortunate and not at all in good taste. Let the party not support him but to comment on his suitability for the post in public is most unbecoming for a national party. Mr Ansari is a very qualified personality, holding a high constitutional post conducting the proceedings with great dignity and composure. On the other hand, let the party introspect on issues facing states like karnataka, so that they have a slim chance of coming to power in that particular state.

from:  k srinivasa rao
Posted on: Apr 30, 2012 at 19:44 IST

The President of India should not be from any party cadre. He should
be a person of integrity of the highest order, above any political
affiliation but liked by all political parties. No doubt that he
should be adequately qualified with minimum a post graduate degree. He
should be well aware of the problems of the country and able to reach
the common man. He should be accepted as a model citizen by and large
as he will be the first citizen of our country.
It is worth recalling that some of the nominees for the President in
the past were borne out of political considerations and they could not
live up to the expectations. We should never commit such mistakes
again. All our political parties should sit together and try to select
a candidate on consensus even though it is a hard process.

from:  Dr. C.K. George
Posted on: Apr 30, 2012 at 19:25 IST

I am sorry to say that this is an erroneous information. BJP has never
ever proposed any name till now including Badal's name for President's
post. Till now the party is open to name of any non-congressmen like our
Former President Mr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam and the party still hopes that
Mr. Kalam, would contest in this Presidential poll romping in a victory
with thumping majority. Please don't speculate wrong information,
untill the information is confirmed by top BJP brasses. Till now
Kalam's name has an overwhelming support not only among NDA members but
also among majority of Indian masses as well.

from:  tkr Padmanab
Posted on: Apr 30, 2012 at 19:18 IST
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