His presidential election is a serious ball-game!
Self-aggrandizement is not new to politics. And rightly too, whosoever is in politics, particularly in this coalition era, is bound to have ambitions. More than being ambitious, over-ambition can have dangerous overtones, it is the route adopted to achieve that goal matters the most. It can catapult one to the desired destination and conversely make a subject of public ridicule.
Where does the self-styled best Presidential candidate Mr P A Sangma stand on this count? No doubt he is a capable politician with a good track-record as Speaker Lok Sabha and Union Minister, but the manner in which he is going around counting his own virtues as the best possible nominee to occupy the Raisina Hill, has made him a stock of ridicule.
He is politically redundant, for the time being, as all his attempts to emerge as a leader of the North-East and a tribal face of the country have failed till date. People in political hibernation have the unique knack of finding ways to refresh and remain in the public memory when out of job. Ostensibly, the Presidential election has come as a god sent offer for him to once again find mention in the news-headlines.
In politics story is not over till the last word is said or the last vote counted. This could provide the proverbial solace to Mr Sangma for the time being. But it remains a fact that it has caused more harm to his image than accruing any political benefit as there is a general feeling that utmost seriousness should be attached by the political parties and individuals to the Presidential election. Some element of politics is bound to enter the process of candidate selection particularly in this era of fragile coalitions, but there is certainly no space for antics.
Projecting himself as the tallest tribal leader, he is one of some eminence, without assessing his own strength has led to Mr Sangma fast losing political grounder even before he could gain some foothold. His erosion has started from his parent party Nationalist Congress Party which was quick to disown his candidature while leaving no one in doubt that it will solidly back a UPA candidate.
The manner in which he is going around tom-tomming his Presidential ambitions with his daughter and Union Minister Agatha Sangma in toe is yet another reflection of the new low which the coalition politics can touch. Once the presiding officer of Lok Sabha where he on various occasions talked about ethics and probity in public and political life, it is amazing that he conveniently forgot his daughter’s status knowing fully-well that neither the UPA of which NCP is a part and his daughter the party’s nominee in the Government nor the Congress have any interest in his candidature.
Shrewd and intelligent, Mr Sangma fully well knows that the path to the Rashtrapati Bhawan for him is if not impossible but very difficult. His own party, the NCP, is not too keen on supporting him and he has been pulled up by his party boss Mr Sharad Pawar not on one but two counts. Firstly, for arbitrarily announcing his candidature and secondly for trying to make a political event out of it but taking his daughter along while drumming support for his name. The NCP has made it clear that it will abide by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance's decision.
His attempts to emerge as a consensus candidate received a major set-back, as expectedly, Congress President Mrs Sonia Gandhi short circuited his ambitions by refusing to grant him an appointment. The Sonia snub has almost ruled him out of the race unless he manages to convince the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance to back him. Given veteran BJP leader Mr L K Advani’s vulnerable situation within his own party, vis-a-vis BJP chief Mr Nitin Gadkari, the former’s public pronouncement that at a personal level he prefers Mr Sangma as a Presidential candidate, has considerably reduced chances of his name’s acceptance even by the BJP leave alone the NDA.
Mr Sangma has put up a brave face by describing himself as a “serious” candidate for the President's post despite the fact that the arithmetic is loaded against him. His latest statement: "There is no going back. I will not let madam Jayalalithaa and Naveen Patnaik down, which would mean that if necessary I would contest as an Independent," amply reflects his predicament.
For him the time is clearly running out. He can only hope to become a dark-horse if the political equations change rapidly in the coming weeks.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 27 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 27 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 28 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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