Presidential polls: From Thawar Chand Gehlot to Tamilisai Soundararajan, a look at the BJP’s list of probables

0
118

From governors to tribal chiefs and even a former Lok Sabha speaker, the BJP has a glut of candidates to choose from and plenty to ponder when choosing.

Thawar Chand Gehlot. photo credit News18

With the July 18 presidential elections fast approaching, both the opposition and the NDA have begun the arduous task of choosing their respective candidates.

Consensus seems to be the word of the day.

Opposition leaders, after passing a resolution to field a common candidate, offered National Conference Patriarch Farooq Abdullah and former diplomat Gopalkrishna Gandhi as possible choices.

The BJP, meanwhile, appears to be taking a similar approach.

Sources said India time Rajnath Singh contacted key opposition figures including Mamata Banerjee, Uddhav Thackeray and Mallikarjun Kharge to finalize a candidate.

***

Read also

Presidential Candidate Should Respect Constitution, Says RJD’s Manoj Kumar Jha

Why the BJP still has to make the right choice for the next president

Presidential polls: Mamata-led opposition meeting crumbles miserably as TRS, AAP and BJD skip meeting

Editorial History: Special Markers for Presidential Elections

UK Time News podcast: How India elects its president

***

Rajnath also spoke with BJD’s Naveen Patnaik, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, BSP Supremo Mayawati and JD(U) Nitish Kumar. Sources said opposition leaders questioned Singh about the likely candidate of the BJP-led NDA for the presidential election.

Which brings us to the big question: who will be the BJP’s presidential choice?

From governors to tribal leaders and even a former Lok Sabha speaker, the BJP has an overabundance of possible candidates to choose from and plenty to ponder when choosing:

To begin with, Thawar Chand Gehlot comes to mind.

According Thread, Gehlot is a prominent Dalit leader who has served the BJP in various capacities, including as a member of the BJP Parliamentary Council and Central Election Commission. Gehlot also served as Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment during the first term of the Modi government.

See also  Report: Officer Wanted To Rescue Uvalde Classroom Teacher's Wife, But He Was Caught And His Gun Taken From Her

Kerala Governor Mohammad Arif Khan could also be in the running.

Presidential Polls From Thawar Chand Gehlot to Tamilisai Soundararajan, a look at the BJP's list of probables

File image of Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. News18

Thread notes that Khan could prove to be the party’s choice if he decides to use him as a show of his “secular credentials” at a time when various Islamic countries have made known their displeasure with remarks against the Prophet Muhammad by two party spokesperson.

The chief of the Odisha tribe, Draupadi Murmu, could also be in the running.

According Thread, Murmu served as the first governor of Jharkhand from 2015 and was the first to complete her term in the state. His name was also mentioned during the last presidential elections, the piece notes.

Jual Oram, another tribal leader from Odisha, could be a possible dark horse.

So does former Lok Sabha President Sumitra Mahajan.

Another prospect is Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, a Nadar leader and former chairman of the BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit.

Presidential Polls From Thawar Chand Gehlot to Tamilisai Soundararajan, a look at the BJP's list of probables

File image of Tamilisai Soundararajan. Twitter @DrTamilisaiBJP

A piece in India today notes that a Tamilian from the south will help the BJP to penetrate almost virgin territory and that it will be difficult even for some opposition parties like the TRS to oppose the candidacy. “It will also be difficult for Tamil Nadu’s ruling party, the DMK, to remain in the opposition camp. The BJP was an ally of the opposition Tamil Nadu party, the AIADMK, in the last state polls anyway.

See also  GhostSpot | The protest game: It's time for Narendra Modi and his core team to do some serious 'chintan'

According Thread, a possible choice could be Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu given his long stint in the party and experience in holding various positions including numerous portfolios in both the Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi. Naidu also served as National Chairman of the BJP from 2002 to 2004.

According UK Time News, the JD(U) has put forward the name of its leader Nitish Kumar who could be a presidential candidate. Kumar’s ministerial colleague, Shravan Kumar, had publicly proposed that the chief minister “can be a good candidate for President of India”.

Presidential Polls From Thawar Chand Gehlot to Tamilisai Soundararajan, a look at the BJP's list of probables

File image of Nitish Kumar. PTI

But party leaders say Kumar cannot be the nominee as he is “an unreliable and tough ally” who puts his foot down at critical times. They also look askance at his equation with the other parties.

But for the BJP, the past could be a prologue.

Like this India today article note: “Past presidential elections show inescapable patterns. The NDA’s choice has strong electoral significance and political significance. And, more importantly, it catches the opposition off guard, even forcing some of its constituents to follow the NDA. And that might make the numbers, which now look in favor of the NDA, a bit more irrelevant.

See also  MAGA voters send $50 million GOP plan off the rails in Illinois

The article posits that the NDA can simply choose Kovind again or make a surprise choice in the presidential election for which the vote will only take place when there is no consensus candidate from both sides.

Presidential Polls From Thawar Chand Gehlot to Tamilisai Soundararajan, a look at the BJP's list of probables

File image of Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. UKTN-News18

Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is another name that fits the BJP’s outreach to electorally significant communities. “He is a Shia Muslim. His wife is a Hindu. Sections of Shia Muslims have been softer towards the BJP. of Shia Muslims,” the article notes.

The piece added that Naqvi was not nominated for the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha is still a long way off. His candidacy therefore cannot really be ruled out.

The counting of votes for the July 18 ballot will take place on July 21.

President Ram Nath Kovind’s term is due to end on July 24.

The presidential election takes place according to the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote. In this system, the voter must mark his preferences in relation to the names of the candidates.

With contributions from agencies

Read all Recent news, New trends, Cricket News, bollywood news,
India News and Entertainment News here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here