24 November, 2020

Race Day: Summer Travails

The Maharashtra governor may be the leading contender, but the race for the president's post could still go down to the wire. More on Presidential elections

Race Day: Summer Travails
Last year, when President K.R. Narayanan cancelled his annual summer vacation—he wasn't keeping well—the general consensus was that he was in too poor health to contest a second term. But a year later, not only has Narayanan gone off on a summer sojourn to Ooty but has even indicated that he wouldn't refuse a second term, provided there is consensus on his continuing. He would not, however, be a candidate, in case of an election.

The situation has triggered off a Narayanan vs P.C. Alexander debate in political circles in Delhi. The BJP and its NDA partners have decided to back Maharashtra governor Alexander while the Left and the Congress want Narayanan to continue. But which of these two old school friends from Kerala will finally pip the other at the post?

The NDA says it's all for a consensus, but not for Narayanan. Says a cabinet minister: "We have nothing against him. But it is against precedent for a president to stay on for more than one term." The NDA argument is that India's first president, Dr Rajendra Prasad, was the only incumbent to serve two terms...


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