Special Correspondent

NDA could not present a unified front, points out Prakash Karat

“The result of the Presidential election will send a clear message”

The post represents the Indian State and government

NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday said the Presidential election has exposed the “utter failure” of the Bharatiya Janata Party and despite its feverish and low-level propaganda its ethics and morality stood “isolated”.

“The National Democratic Alliance could not present a united front in support of [Bhairon Singh] Shekhawat. The Shiv Sena and the Trinamool Congress did not fall in line. Despite all its efforts to woo the parties of the United National Progressive Alliance, they decided not to support Mr. Shekhawat and abstain from the election. The result of the Presidential election will send a clear message,” CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said in the latest edition of party organ “People’s Democracy.”

He said the President’s post cannot be handed over to a person belonging to a party, which has so openly challenged the secular principles of the Indian State and which has not hesitated to display its contempt for constitutional values.

“Rubber stamp of RSS”

The article said it was “amusing” to talk of Pratibha Patil as a “rubber stamp” President, ignoring the fact that the Opposition candidate would have been an RSS rubber stamp if he was ensconced in the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

President represents government

The CPI (M), Mr. Karat said, considered the post of President as one representing the Indian State and the government. The President’s role is circumscribed by the Cabinet and parliamentary system. A President has to represent the Government’s views. The President’s address to Parliament illustrates this relationship. The President has to give assent to legislation passed by Parliament or advice tendered by the Cabinet, even if he disagrees with them.

Mr. Karat said:

“The CPI (M) at present and in the immediate future can be expected to oppose many policy decisions and legislations initiated by the Government. To have a president from the CPI (M) would be to declare that the party has no basic difference with the bourgeois-landlord policies and governments.

“So, it is inconceivable for a party member to be playing this role at the current juncture. That is why the Polit Bureau, when deciding its approach to the Presidential election, ruled out considering such a proposition.”