Thursday, August 18, 2022

Foregone conclusion

Modi and his inner core of political strategists have always got it right on political moves and that has ensured that the BJP is always ahead of the divided, confused and bickering opposition parties. The two aspirants for the post of President of India- BJP candidate on behalf of the NDA Droupadi Murmu( a politician from Odisha) and TMC/NCP sponsored joint opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha, former Janata Party turned BJP, who joined TMC and resigned as vice president to contest the election as opposition candidate. Of 17 opposition parties, who had “unanimously” backed the 84-year-old Yashwant Sinha, a Vajpayee aide and staunch critic of the Modi-Shah duo, several like JMM(a ruling alliance partners of the Congress in Jharkhand), TDP in Andhra Pradesh, sections of Samajwadi Party, SAD a critic of BJP and even AAP are set to vote for NDA candidate Murmu. The Janata Dal (Secular), which had attended a meeting called by chief minister Mamata Banerjee to decide on a joint Opposition name as the presidential candidate, indicated that it would back Droupadi Murmu. Even the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal is trying to play down Yashwant Sinha’s candidature as the party is disinclined to spearhead his campaign. Trinamool Congress is walking a tightrope on the candidature of NDA presidential nominee Droupadi Murmu, as it fears that going all guns blazing against her in support of Yashwant Sinha might alienate the tribal voters in West Bengal ahead of the panchayat elections next year and the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Tribals constitute 7-8 per cent of the state’s population, and are a deciding factor in 47 assembly seats and seven Lok Sabha constituencies spread across the Junglemahal districts of Purulia, Paschim Medinipur, Bankura and Jhargram in southern Bengal and Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar in the north. With several opposition parties now breaking ranks to support Murmu and not necessarily the BJP, cracks have appeared within the opposition ranks. It is expected that the NDA candidate Murmu already has the backing of a little of 60% of MPs and MLAs but the BJP is not satisfied. It wants her victory margin over Sinha to surpasses that of Ram Nath Kovind had over Meira Kumar in 2017. Kovind had won with more than 65 percent votes. Party sources say that Modi wants the first tribal president to win with a record votes from across the political spectrum.The BJP on its own has 392 MPs, excluding four nominated Rajya Sabha members who cannot vote, out of the current strength of 772 members from both Houses. The BJP is in power in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar and Assam. The BJD, YSRCP, and the AIADMK leaders even filed nomination papers proposing Murmu. The way prime minister Narendra Modi and his closest aide Home Minister Amit Shah checkmated the opposition parties over fielding Droupdi Murmu, a tribal woman and former Governor of Jharkhand as the NDA’s presidential candidate, has once again proved their unassailable political acumen over rival politicians. Her victory to the highest constitutional post of India, in the pending poll process, is just a mere formality now. The opposition parties played their cards so badly as most of them realised that they were fighting a losing battle and in a way, indicated the most likely scenario in 2014.

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