Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Presidential nominee is BJP's Dalit face

BJP plays Dalit card for the top constitutional post of the country by announcing the name of Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as its nominee for presidential elections. Kovind is party's Dalit face. Dalit constitutes about 20 percent of country's population. So, for the sake of vote bank politics, BJP has played a master stroke by announcing the name of Dalit as its presidential nominee. Most of the opposition parties such as JD(U), BSP, SP and some others are not in a position to oppose the candidature of Kovind because of his Dalit credentials. Though BJP has also preferred caste to merit like all other political parties, it is not in the interest of the nation. Kovind has practised law in Delhi High court and Supreme Court. He has been the member of Upper House for two consecutive terms from 1994 to 2006. He was also the personal secretary to the late former Prime Minister Morarji Desai. He has been the head of Dalit Morcha of BJP before being appointed as the Governor of Bihar. Kovind is also considered to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has always in close connection with party President Amit Shah. He is a well-educated and learned man, but his being a Dalit has catapulted him to be the presidential nominee of the party. As far as number is concerned in the Electoral College for the election of President of the country, it goes in favour of BJP-led NDA. So, Ram Nath Kovind election as the President of the country is a foregone conclusion. But it would be better in the interest of the nation if there had been consensus on the presidential nominee. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that Kovind has worked all his life for the uplift of Dalits and poor section of the society. So, Dalits, backward and weaker section of the society will be benefited by Kovind becoming the President of the nation. If elected, Ramnath Kovind will not be the first Dalit President of the country. Before him, late President K R Narayanan as Dalit has already adorned the post of President. He was also a career diplomat and highly learned. As far as the opposition is concerned, the number is not in its favour. But the Congress-led opposition would not give a walk over to BJP-led NDA in a presidential election. So, for the sake of contesting, Congress-led Opposition will certainly announce its own name. Now the BJP has already played Dalit card, the Opposition will also announce the name of a famous Dalit leader such as Sushil Kumar Shinde or Meira Kumar as its presidential candidate in election. First of all, the President is not of a party but of the people of the country. So, there must not be bitterness between the ruling and the opposition parties in presidential elections. But the opposition cannot give an open field to BJP. As far as the candidate of the opposition is concerned, it appears certain that he or she would be of Dalit credentials as both the camps are vying for Dalit votes. Dalits constitute the major share of votes in the country. Their population is about more than 20 crore. so, every political party atleast for the avowed reasons will hobnob with Dalits. But the matter of the fact is that whether a Dalit leader is made the president or not, it would make no difference in the all-round development of the community members. K R Narayanan was the President. He was Dalit. What changes the govt. of the day brought about in the lives of Dalits. They will be where they are.

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