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Presidential election: No consensus candidate yet

Presidential election: No consensus candidate yet
President Pranab Mukherjee leaving the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan for witnessing the Beating Retreat at Vijay Chowk in New Delhi. Photo: UNI
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While the BJP’s three-member committee—comprising Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and M Venkaiah Naidu—to select a candidate for President met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on June 16 to try and find a consensus candidate, opposition leaders have had their own conclave to decide on their own consensus candidate.

So far no consensus has emerged.

However, some outside candidates—six of them—have already filed their nominations.

As always, it’s a hobby or pastime for some people in India to file nominations for elections to high public positions, even when they know very well that there isn’t a ghost of chance for him or her to reach the goal. Technically, it is the very process of filing nominations and probably feeling “in the zone” for a while that motivates these people.

The Presidential election is set for July 17 and according to our constitution, anybody from the Union of India can file nomination, though rules were changed a while back to keep away non-serious candidates. Now each candidate will have to show the support of 50 “electors” and be seconded by another 50.

Yet, six candidates have already filed their nominations.

Expectedly, among the candidates so far was K Padmarajan from Salem in Tamil Nadu. He has “fought” over 150 elections, losing all, becoming the “most unsuccessful candidate”, as per the Limca Book of Records. He is called the “Election King”.

He had fought (and lost) against incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee too.

They five others who have  already filed their nominations were Anand Singh Kushwaha (Gwalior), A Bala Raj (Mahbubnagar, Telangana), Saira Bano Patel (Mumbai), Abdul Hamid Patel (Mumbai) and Kondekar Vijayprakash (Pune).

The last date for filing nomination papers is June 28. Votes will be counted on July 20, four days before President Mukherjee’s term ends. The new President assumes office the very next day.

India Legal Bureau

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