After Sonia Gandhi 'decided’ not to become Prime Minister following her party’s success in 2004 elections, naturally all party workers turned towards leaders like Pranab Mukherjee and Arjun Singh as natural choices. But surprising every one, she had chosen Dr. Manmohan Singh. His only qualification is believed to be his lack of any political experience, and also his readiness to 'submit' his individuality for the sake of office.
In fact, Prnab Mukherjee was stunned with this development, and said to be felt 'insulted' to be in the cabinet of Dr. Manmohan Singh, who was earlier elevated as Reserve Bank Govenor by him, when he was Finance Minister. However, as a seasoned politician and matured leader, he kept quiet and started waiting for his own time.
Last year, when Prime Minister was himself in crisis and the UPA was in great trouble, Sonia Gandhi urged his intervention, promising him Prime Ministerial office in few months. But that did not materialise. Realising that Sonia Gandhi never allowed him to become Prime Minister in 2009 election itself, he announced it will be his last stint in the parliament, and announced his 'retirement' from the active politics. However, since then, he started to keep his eye on the Presidential position.
After Congress' failure to make any dent in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, and its Prime Ministerial candidate in waiting Rahul Gandhi failing to show his face in the public, several regional leaders started challenging Congress' supremacy in national politics. Taking this as an advantage, it seems Pranab Mukherjee played is cards well.
In a tactical move, UPA allies decided not to allow a 'figure head' nominated by Sonia Gandhi to occupy Rastrapathi Bhavan like Pratibha Patil. They felt a seasoned leader like Pranab Mukherjee will act like 'checkmate' to leaders like Sonia Gandhi when needed. As both Congress and BJP seem to be losing their ground, and are not in a position to make any head way in 2014 polls, they felt regional leaders will play a key role in the selection of the next Prime Minister.
Floating of three names by Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mamata Benerjee one side and other side P A Sangma, seems to be strategic move to check Sonia Gandhi from taking unmilitary decision. This spread fears among Sonia Gandhi camp that if Congress is marginalised in this poll, that would lead to collapse of UPA Government itself. This forced her to consider Pranab Mukherjee’s name.
Presidential elections seem to be the first sign of great trouble knotting the doors of Sonia Gandhi politically. This may be followed to several deeper crises to her regime. Interestingly, Janata Party President Dr Subramanian Swamy claimed that Sonia Gandhi is the fourth richest politican in the world. If Egypt government attaches properties of its former president Mubarak, she would become third richest politician. He also predicted this government is bound to collapse in August with a no confidence motion in the parliament and mid-term elections are likely to be held in November, giving way for formation a new government, where Sonia Gandhi may not have a role to play.
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