The BJP has already started its campaign for the Lok Sabha elections, projecting Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate. The two Left parties, the CPI and the CPI(M), are reported to have proposed Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as the candidate of the Third Front. Being under pressure for long to announce the name of a prime ministerial candidate, AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh recently said that it was not right for parties to declare their prime ministerial candidates ahead of elections. Although late, what Mr. Singh said is right. Unlike the U.S., ours is a parliamentary democracy where all candidates are elected to be MPs. After the announcement of results, the leader of the majority party approaches the President, who invites him to form a government. Many of our PMs, including the current one, were elected this way.
In spite of his active involvement in the Congress party for so many years, Rahul Gandhi lacks the dynamism and diplomacy which his grandmother and great grandfather possessed. Jawaharlal Nehru had tremendous mass appeal, whereas Indira Gandhi proved herself a powerful leader both in terms of diplomacy and administration. If only Priyanka Gandhi is allowed active participation in party affairs and administration, she can attract masses easily and shine like her grandmother in the political arena.
>>A letter in the Letters to the Editor column titled “Rahul as leader” (Editorial page, Jan. 16, 2014) erroneously referred to Biju Patnaik as Odisha’s Chief Minister. It should have been Naveen Patnaik.