NEW DELHI: The formal process for electing the next President has started and as per the Election Commission (EC), the voting for the presidential election will take place on July 18 while the name of the next President will be officially declared on July 21.
Given the current political equations, it can be said that whoever the BJP will declare its presidential candidate would easily win the election. This is the reason why political pundits are curiously waiting for announcement of the candidate name by the BJP. The working style of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always sprung a surprise. During the 2017 presidential poll, he had surprised everyone by announcing Ram Nath Kovind as the BJP's candidate for the presidential poll.
By electing Kovind to the top constitutional post five years ago, the BJP delivered its message to the Dalit community across the country, and subsequently carved advantages out of it in other elections. Not just this, the BJP also managed to break the unity among the Opposition parties with nomination of a candidate belonging to the Dalit community.
Five years later, in 2022, the major question before the BJP is whether the party should give more importance to its core ideology while choosing the presidential candidate, or field a candidate, who would balance the current political equations and with the help of which the party can deliver a special message to the people across the country.
It is being speculated that during the current 'Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' marking 75 years of country's independence, BJP may field a tribal leader as its presidential candidate. This candidate could be some woman. Amid all the speculations, the saffron party may come up with some surprising candidate yet again as the Modi-Shah duo are known for making "unpredictable and path-breaking" political decisions.
Next week, around June 15, a meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Board is likely to be held, after which the party could announce the name of its presidential candidate. In the same meeting, the names of both the President and Vice President candidates will be discussed as the BJP wants to set the political equations right. However, the Vice Presidential candidate will be announced by the saffron party only after announcement of the election date for the Vice-Presidential poll.
In the recent elections held over 57 Rajya Sabha seats from 15 states, BJP has won over 22 seats. Previously, out of these 57 seats, the saffron had hold over 25 seats. The NDA alliance previously had total 31 seats out of the 57, including AIADMK's three, JDU two and one Independent candidate seat. However, in the recent polls both the allies of the BJP -- AIADMK and JDU have lost one Rajya Sabha seat each.
Though the number of BJP MPs in the Upper House has reduced by three, but with 301 MPs in the Lok Sabha, BJP is still far ahead in terms of numbers as compared to the Opposition parties. Despite losing three seats, the BJP's current strength in the Rajya Sabha is still higher than that of 2017. In the Lok Sabha, out of 540 MPs (three seats lying vacant), the saffron party has 301 members. On the other hand, in the Rajya Sabha, out of the current 232 MPs (excluding seven nominated members), the BJP will have a strength of 92 after the newly-elected MPs are sworn in.
Compared to 2017, this year the number of elected MLAs of the BJP and the NDA in various Legislative Assemblies across the country has fallen. However, with the increase in number of BJP MPs in Lok Sabha, and with the support of non-NDA and non-UPA regional parties, the saffron party is confident that its presidential candidate will easily win the poll.
The BJP is hopeful that the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) of Orissa and the YSR Congress Party of Andhra Pradesh, would support the NDA's presidential candidate. If the BJP fields a tribal leader as its presidential candidate, it may lead to political dilemma for Opposition leader like Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, who leads the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Congress alliance.
Sources say that as part of the process of building a consensus for the top constitutional post such as President of the country, BJP leaders will interact with the Opposition parties. However, given the current political atmosphere in the country and preparations by the Opposition parties, there are slim chances of a unanimous Presidential candidate and thus the election is almost certain. IANS
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