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Country Gearing up for Presidential Poll – Choice Between Two Shekhawats

By Anupama Prabhu - by Daijiworld Media Network Manipal

Jul 19: With the Presidential elections a only a day away, the political parties might be busy making their last minute prayers, hoping that their candidate wins and acclaims the prestigious position.

The Presidential Election 2007 will take place on July 19, and the counting will take place on July 21. The term of office of the present President A P J Abdul Kalam is upto July 24.This year’s Presidential elections witnessed a dramatic chain of events.

Months before the issue of Presidential elections was in the news, e-mails started circulating the inboxes that contained a petition for APJ Abdul Kalam to contest for the Presidential elections for the second term. News was that the UPA did not want Kalam to contest for a second term and would not have him as the candidate.

The decision of the UPA became clear when they nomitated Pratibha Patil as their presidential candidate. With the support of the Bahujan Samaj Party, whose chief Mayawati declared that her party's votes will go in the favour of the Congress candidate, Congress has full faith that their candidature will come out victorious. With Mayawati agreeing to support UPA's Presidential candidate, Patil is again emerging as the frontrunner to become the country's First Citizen.

Then came the bad news, planted no doubt by the opposition. A series of Patil’s wrong doings came to be reported extensively. The reports surfaced made no difference to the Congress, they stood by her as their candidate.

However, the decision of the NDA was not consistent with UPA. The NDA filed the nomination paper of the current vice-president of India- Bhairon Singh Shekewat as an “independent” candidate. 

AIADMK, Samajwadi, Telgu Desam and Indian National Lok Dal tried to convince the outgoing President APJ Abdul Kalam. His becoming the president was debated when he was elected the President in the year 2002. The 75-year-old and a former top government defence and space scientist had managed to appeal to India's young people. He decided to contest in the elections once if he was sure of winning in this election. The NDA stepped ahead and assured that they would support Dr A P J Abdul Kalam if he decided to contest elections. 

The Left wanted External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to be the next President. Shivraj Patil was also expected to get some support from Maharashtra, but the Shiv Sena ended up announcing that it would support Pratibha Patil only if he were able to prove Maharashtrian origins.

Apart from being the nominal head of the state, the President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, the Head of State and chief guardian of the Constitution. He has the authority to dissolve Parliament and call fresh elections, declare a state of emergency, and dismiss governments in the states, but all upon the counsel of the Prime Minister and the elected government. Thus the Indian President does not have much power as the Prime Minister has.

Everything said and done, the President of India is endowed with the prestigious title of ‘First Citizen’ of the country. If Pratibha Patil won the elections, the country would have its first woman President.


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Comment on this article


    Sat, Jul 21 2007

    Like certain things imposed in everday life, these both presidential candidates seems to be forced on us. May be its due to the towering personality of APJ. What irks me more is the fact, We call it democratic, Of the people,By the people,For the people. But the same democracy has short cuts through which elected bodies boldly,knowingly, make decisions which are not acceptable to mass.

    Do our representatives ignorant of the mass support APJ has ? and their wish to see him decorating the same chair. Unless they are made accountable to mass for their every political decisions these high handed politics will continue and ruin the real democratic structure. Our constitutional experts need to address this issue.

    Any way I have made up my mind, if anyone ask me tomorrow, who is your present Indian president,( I am sure , these candidates has nothing or very few of their own to be talked about ),I just to say 'Shekawat',Unlike my earlier lenthy replies, Bharat Ratna, Dr Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Kalam, an arch patriot,Scientist,Engineer,progressive,mentor,innovator,visionary.

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  • Marian D'Souza , Mangalore-Falnir

    Sat, Jul 21 2007

    Mrs. Pratibha Patil has been in public life for long as per her curriculam vitae and its quite but common that at one point of time there will be some controversy or the other. Besides a politician she has engaged herself in social service by promoting and encouraging cooperative movement & institutions in her native town of Maharashtra. As the saying goes "One who pleases everyone pleases none", probably there may have been some skirmishes in the past . While comparing the two candidates, both have had some controversy in the past but the present of both is clean. If the purpoted allegations levelled against Mrs.Patil were indeed true , then how the law of the land didnt take its course all this while.

    On the face of it these so called charges appear flimsy & false and nothing but mudslinging. However it is to be seen how serious these charges are or if they have been raked up simply out of animosity or jealousy by the opponents who cannot digest the fact that a woman is adorning the highest constitutional post of our nation,alongwith another one who is the convener of the ruling alliance at the centre besides being the President of the ruling party. If the perpetrators of the worst crimes against humanity of recent times like demolition of the Ayodhya masjid and the countrywide violence that followed & the Gujarath pogrom post Godhra, are scot free without being convicted and held or holding posts like Dy. Prime Minister & Chief Minister respectively,these petty & concocted charges against Mrs. Patil dont deserve to be discussed at all leave alone investigated.

    When this comment is published Mrs. Patil would have already sailed through smoothly garnering enough votes in the electoral college to become the first Woman President of India our dear Nation. Let us Wish her an eventful tenure in Rashtrapathi Bhavan like her predecessor and I am sure she will certainly uphold the high values and principles of secularism & democracy of our Great Constitution drafted by its founding fathers who had a broad vision and progressive outlook.

    The left parties need to be complimented in a special manner for their steadfast support in this historic election of choosing a woman President.

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  • Kevin Lobo, Mangalore

    Sat, Jul 21 2007

    Presidents election has become a joke as it seems jokers and clowns are deciding our next president. This should be stopped. People should be given chance to vote for the president as we dont want any Tom, Dick and Harry becoming a president of largest democracy at the will of these wicked politicians.

    Why there is no nomination from Karnataka? Why Dr. Kalam was rejected by these political parties? This shows these political parties want the "puppets" as their president. Nobody is bothered whether he or she is fit to be a president or not. The day is not far one day a dog also can be nominated for the post of Indian President. I am sorry to say this. But this is a fact. When these wicked politicians don't get any human puppet they may go for puppet d.....

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  • Nelson Lewis, Kingdom of Bahrain

    Sat, Jul 21 2007

    Ms. Pratibha Patil is Sonia Gandhi's flunkey and Dr. Manmohan Singh is a mere and mute spectator. Singh means "Lion", but this Singh has no teeth. In short, he is a toothless lion. This is the fact of the matter. I do not want to say anything about Ms. Pratibha Patil as a person, because she is an unknown politician of whom very few Indians had heard of.

    However, with so many insinuations, character assassinations, mudslingings, etc., she will be the most undignified person to sit on the chair. Moreover, she will have to be on a goody, goody terms with the netas to whom she owes a favour. For me the most popular and truly the People's President was Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, then followed by the philosopher, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan and I would consider Ms. Pratibha Patil to be the lowest on the ladder.

    The election of President should be done by the people and not the politicians, if we do not want characters with dubious backgrounds sitting on this chair.

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  • nifin, dubai/ mangalore

    Fri, Jul 20 2007

    Whats the use??.... we all are nothing but silent observers to the whims and fantasies of Sonia Gandhi in India today. First she has a puppet Prime Minister , now a puppet President. Imagine such a female embroiled in controversy with such dubious family members records being the Commander in Chief of Indian national army.

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  • Clement, Mangalore/Dubai

    Thu, Jul 19 2007

    It is not good for becoming President of India for name sake. They should prove that they are in Top position and they have to discharge their duties like then Presidents Dr.Rejendra Prasad, Radhakrishnan and Present President APJ Abdul Kalam.

    They should not bow to any political pressure. If this election would have BEEN by elected by people of India, billion people would have definitely supported Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam, who served and dedicated his life unselfishly to the nation. We hardly find such great personality and may be one in Million. He didn't bow to any political pressure. Long live Dr. Abdul Kalam.

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  • Alfred J. Rebello, Kundpaur/Dubai

    Thu, Jul 19 2007

    The way President election is heading, it looks like we will have a President as per the politicians choice and not of the Indian public. To have a President of the Indian public choice then the constituition should be amended. The president should be chosen by the public who falls in certain (Higly qualified, Business people, Lawyers etc.) catagory and by NO political party.

    The politicians can vote as individuals and not as a party provided they fall in the above catagory. Then we will have a President of Indians choice. Can we believe this will happen? If not then we have to blame the politicians & their parties for not observing the spirit of the true democracy.

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