Mamata Banerjee’s rude and politically immature attempt to name three probable candidates for the post of President has compelled Sonia Gandhi to show a determination to name Pranab Mukherjee as the Presidential candidate for the UPA. The way in which Mamata Banerjee behaved was humiliating for the Congress chairperson and UPA government itself.
Even NDA could not come out so strongly in favour of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam who wants to be a consensus candidate. Suddenly, Mamata Banerjee has gone awry with her Pranabda who played a big role in the formation of the alliance in West Bengal for ousting the almighty CPI(M) out of the citadel of power.
Suddenly, Mamata Banerjee wanted Somnath Chatterjee, who formerly was from the CPI(M), to contest election. Somnath Chatterjee realized the ridiculousness of Mamta’s passions and himself expressed surmise at the development. It is not exactly known how Mamata came to know that Guruji Mulayam Singh Yadav would risk everything for Mamataji particularly when he never wanted NDA with communal forces represented by people like Narendra Modi to come to power.
Mamata Banerjee is aggrieved because she loved Bengal and Pranab Mukherjee as the Union Finance Minister did not allow any special package for West Bengal. True, but it is unethical to link that question with the Presidential Election in any way.
Mamata Banerjee in her whimsical antics was oblivious of two important facts. One is that Trinamool is not that much important in UPA II as to reject the consensus candidate publicly, whoever he or she is. Secondly, she being a chief of different party cannot dictate the terms of Congress. Yes, she may or may not support Pranab Mukherjee, but that too with a political courtesy and not with rancor and ill feeling. The way Mamata, whom still Pranab Mukherjee regards as his ‘sister’ (after all the foul words spoken about him) has burst out in anger, and suggested three names as if from the air, reveals that she has none to consult with in her own party.
The Samajwadi Party Chief is her only person to discuss with what Trinamool will finally do in the Presidential poll. It is expected that the Party chief will come back to West Bengal after the meeting with Sonia Gandhi and will discuss the matter threadbare with her senior party colleagues or will convene a meeting of the highest body of Trinamool and then express views about the Presidential candidate. What she has done instead, she has uttered three names. The two names are totally out of question.
Now let us come to the third name. Yes, the name of Dr. Manmohan Singh. By naming the Prime Minister for the Presidential post, Mamata has violated both the code of ethics and the constitutional restraints. By doing that she actually expressed her lack of faith in the Prime Minister of the country. The UPA II is now in a crisis over the two basic questions of corruption and price rises. The Lokpal Bill is a headache for all those in UPA II. At any moment, there may an announcement of Loksabha Poll for which UPA coalition is not all ready. The setback in the Presidential election will inevitably lead to the Lok Sabha election before 2014. Why did Mamata suddenly go for this kind of whimsical leap? Was she thinking that Sonia was not serious? Or was she thinking that by aligning with Mulayam she will conquer Delhi and come out with a a special package for West Bengal ? She came empty handed, left Delhi empty handed.
All allies joined the meeting convened by Sonia Gandhi to announce Pranab Mukherjee’s name officially. But Trinamool remained outside, taking the risk of being there for everafter. UPA II is not in a face-saving position if Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool is still accommodated in the coalition. That Pranab Mukherjee called Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and Biman Bose is certainly not a very good sign for the harbingers of change in West Bengal. Any political equation may now change and may go against Trinamool because the party after winning a thumping majority braves the risk of walking all alone. This is not a good message for the secular forces all over the country as the secular UPA governement is passing through a critical phase.
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