14 April, 2021

The August Question

The First Citizen race hots up. Parties get their pawns in place.

The August Question

President Hamid Ansari? The man is, of course, the quiet ex-diplomat who does not normally grace the covers of national magazines. But the current V-P is also the man most likely to make the move to Rashtrapati Bhavan, come July 25. Indeed, the moves to make him the 13th president of India and the counter moves to deny him is the story of the day. The great irony of the times is that with the prime ministerial office diminished, the ruling UPA feels it must redeem its dignity by anointing a president of its choice. Apparently, the Gandhis are in favour of Ansari. So to get him the job the Congress will reach out to the Left and possibly ignore Mamata Banerjee’s objections. If that happens, as some Congress leaders are indicating, it’ll indicate a subtle political realignment.

Although a ceremonial post, the next president will decide whom to invite to form a government in 2014. That would be the moment of great power for the new Rashtrapati. So on July 25, when the new president is sworn in, will it be the current...

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