Sangma vs Mukherjee
There arises no question about Mr PA Sangma’s merit, experience, deeds, qualities and personality. Also we fondly remember his efficiency and popularity as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. Though I am an ardent supporter of Mr Pranab Mukherjee and would be extremely delighted if he succeeds in entering the Raisina Hills, still I used to hold utmost respect for Mr Sangma and was also of the belief that he had every quality expected from a candidate contesting the Presidential election.
But it was indeed shocking to witness how unlike the dignified Mr Mukherjee, Mr Sangma himself came to the forefront to beat his own trumpet, that too by exploiting the sentiments of religion and tribe! What was the need for it when there exist innumerable admirers of Mr Sangma who would have rooted for him by banking on his merit and qualities alone? Thanks to Mr Sangma’s hankering after the Presidentship, the BJP ultimately has decided to back his candidature. The admirers of Mr Sangma were of the belief that from now onwards at least he will act rationally, but again has he disappointed us. Perhaps to exhibit his indebtness towards the BJP, which remains an indispensable part of the Sangh Parivar — the self-appointed ‘‘guardian’’ of the Hindus — Mr Sangma has felt absolutely no qualms in declaring that the barbaric killing of the angel named Graham Stuart Steins (along with his two innocent, vulnerable children) and the cold-blooded assault on Christians and churches in Orissa’s Kandhamal by the fanatic ‘‘Hindutva’’ brigade are merely ‘‘minor incidents’’! Still he feels moral strength to advocate his case by banking on Christianity!
Also, Mr Sangma has probably forgotten the fact that he is not in a rat-race to get elected as MP or MLA, but in a mission to become the President — that highly prestigious and supreme Constitutional seat. But sadly Mr Sangma has denigrated the dignity of the esteemed seat by taking resort to cheap mud-slinging against the opposition as are religiously witnessed in elections for the Lok Sabha, State Assemblies, municipalities or panchayats. Mr Sangma, after being nominated as the BJP-backed candidate for Presidentship, holds every authority to ask for votes from the electoral college by visiting different States. But the manner in which he is spewing venom towards Pranab Mukherjee has not only tarnished the image of Mr Sangma to the extreme, he has also diluted the dignity of the Presidential election.
At the end of the day the fact remains that one’s performance as a cabinet minister, chief minister, MP or MLA is completely irrelevant when the question concerns eligibility for Presidentship. The candidate for Presidentship needs to be a person of sharp acumen and intellect and also should be knowledgeable of Constitutional norms. He should be honest and enjoy wide popularity cutting across political spectrum. And Mr Pranab Mukherjee fully fits the bill in this respect. And as far as Mr Pranab Mukherjee’s capabilities as Finance Minister is concerned, ‘‘Euromoney’’ had declared him as the ‘‘Best Finance Minister of the World’’ in 1984, ‘‘Emerging Markets’’ declared him as the ‘‘Finance Minister of the Year for Asia’’ in 2010, and also in the very same year he was honoured with the epithet ‘‘Finance Minister of the Year’’ by ‘‘The Banker’’.
And Mr Sangma’s latest accusation of Mr Mukherjee’s holding of Office of Profit is nothing but bizarre to say the least. Now that the Returning Officer has rejected his atrocious claim and has accepted Mr Mukherjee’s nomination paper, hasn’t Mr Sangma made an absolute fool of himself? On the one hand, Mr Sangma is continuously playing on his religious and tribal credentials, while on the other, he is expecting from the electoral college of the whole country to vote for him! Now if he is engaged in a mission of making his religious and tribal status the trump card, why would the others vote for him? After all he is not running for the Presidentship of any Christian institution or tribal outfit, but of a multi-lingual, multi-religious, secular, democratic country. Mr Mukherjee has never highlighted his Bengali, Hindu or Brahmin credentials, but he has been banking on his sheer merit only.
Thus, instead of taking resort in rhetoric, taking potshots at the stalwart named Mr Pranab Mukherjee, or providing moral support to the religious fanatics who have blood in their hands, Mr PA Sangma should instead put emphasis on his Indian-ness, own personal achievements, traits, and what he can offer to the nation as its President. His duty as the Presidential candidate ends right there, and thereafter he should just wait for the verdict, which should be accepted with utmost dignity.
D-2/403 Peerless Nagar,