At the outset, I would say that I rather like the Shiv Sena suggestion of Mohan Bhagwat for President. Just to make the liberals mad. Yes, I know that the Sena came up with the idea just to embarrass the BJP…knowing that Mohan Bhagwat would never get to 50% in the electoral college. But, it’s still fun to think about.
Wait… hasn’t Mohan Bhagwat been trying to trip up Modi for a while now? Remember how much damage his comments did in Bihar. But still fun to think about as President 🙂
So, it seems everything is going well for Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu. She is a woman, she is a tribal.
Modi is a politician who works at many many levels. Gujarat goes to polls in December and that’s one state with a large tribal population. This fact won’t be missed by Modi-Shah. Yes, they are probably supremely confident about Gujarat… but the good thing about Modi is that he leaves nothing to chance.
They knew they were winning Uttar Pradesh, but the PM spent 3 days in Varanasi… just to be sure.
In this trait, he is different from Vajpayee… and shall we say poor Theresa May…lol!
Modi never leaves anything to chance. Numerous electoral victories have not made him even a bit overconfident : if anything Modi-Shah team seems to prepare longer and harder with every election.
The other thing that makes a lot of sense is that Draupadi Murmu is from Odisha. The BJP has been banging down the door in Odisha for the last several months. Appointing a President from Odisha will be another adrenaline rush for an already deeply enthused BJP worker. Now is perhaps the time to prepare for a final assault on Coastal Odisha, where Naveen Patnaik has his bastion.
Ironically for Naveen Patnaik, if Draupadi Murmu is chosen as the BJP candidate for President, he will have to smile as he contributes to his own political ruin. Odisha is definitely in the category of “neglected states”… an Odiya President will be a big thing for the people of the state. It leaves Naveen babu with no option but to vote with the BJP.
At the moment, the BJD has 28 MPs (LS+RS) and 117 MLAs in Odisha. That is a LOT of electoral votes.
Wait…we are still not done! Draupadi Murmu brings still more advantages to the table. As Governor of Jharkhand and as a tribal, she is in some sense “from Jharkhand” as well. What this means is that the JMM will have no option but to vote for her as well…
I haven’t done the math explicitly, but I believe that the NDA (minus Shiv Sena…which is certain to throw a tantrum) plus BJD plus JMM will easily cross the halfway mark in the electoral college.
But there’s ONE thing that is clearly going against Draupadi Murmu. Modi and Shah like to keep their cards close to their chest and they don’t tell. Murmu’s name has been in the media for months … if Modi-Shah indeed pick Murmu, this might be the one rare case where the media has been able to know in advance what is in the mind of BJP’s ruling duo.
By the way, I also wanted to express my unhappiness with this kind of defeatist thinking:
No, seriously, what’s wrong with you Jaggi?
A while ago, The Jaggi wrote in Swarajya asking BJP to pick its battles wisely, the case in point being the rather unnecessary rumble over some Gurmehar something…
I mocked him for saying that… but later I changed my mind and mocked myself for mocking Jaggi 🙂
But, this time… come on…
I am all for picking battles wisely but this seems to be a situation in which BJP should not stoop under any circumstances. Picking the President is a basic privilege of the ruling Party … like every ruling party in history of the Republic of India.
What is out of the ordinary this time?
The thinking of Jaggi seems to be that anything Modi does will become a controversy, so it is better not to assert the authority of the ruling party at all.
A concession to the Opposition on the post of President is basically like telling the Opposition that the BJP is scared to breathe. It will undermine the authority of the Prime Minister and give a signal to the Opposition that the BJP is terrified.
And no… a tactical concession to the Opposition won’t prevent Opposition unity. That’s going to happen anyway in 2019. Even if Modi were to propose Sonia ji for President of India…. lol
If anything, the BJP providing a President that is “acceptable” to all will make the Opposition feel like they have got the upper hand in the battle of nerves. They have NEVER beaten Modi … they will take the slightest success as a great victory.
We have to remember that in 2019 the arithmetic will be against the BJP. The only thing that can carry Modi through the 2019 election is the morale of the BJP worker.
In 2014, they all underestimated Modi. It was different. This time they are overestimating him. They will take all precautions and get every single Opposition vote together.
This is the time to keep the BJP worker enthused… in a state of confidence where they don’t believe they can lose. A bit like the Australian cricket team of old. Not the time to see concessions from the top.