India’s presidential election is round the corner, all set to be held on 17 July 2017. The leading party Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) has officially elected Ram Nath Kovind for the candidature, whereas Meira Kumar is the official candidate for the joint opposition.
The term of the current President Mr Pranab Mukherjee is all set to expire on 25 July and the elections will decide his successor. There are no term limits defined for the President and thus the current President is eligible for re-election, but the party declared another candidate, thus putting a stop to the speculations whether there will be another term for Mr Mukherjee or not.
The current candidate, Ram Nath Kovind is a former member of parliament and was Governor of Bihar until his candidature was announced. His tenure as member and Governor has focused on the development of infrastructure related to education. He has been a practising lawyer for 16 years and served as personal assistant to the then Prime Minister of India Morarji Desai.
On the other side, we have Meira Kumar, a five-time nominated member of the parliament and a former speaker of Lok Sabha who was elected unopposed. She has served as a cabinet minister as well, for the ministry of social justice and empowerment. And in addition, she is a lawyer as well.
It must be said that the candidates chosen by BJP and the opposition are quite good, and the competition is neck to neck. Both candidates have a strong background of serving the country and they are equal to another level as well, both of them are Dalits. In a country where caste politics is a big thing, BJP could have captured big on this one but the opposition caught the right string and pulled it, by offering a candidate from the similar field.
It will be interesting to see that how both the parties put up best parts of their official names, and how July 20 turns out to the country.
By Pragati Shukla