Pranab: The Prez-PM

Omita Paul driv­ing force

Gfiles - - BRIC-A-BRAC -

THE for­mer Pres­i­dent, Pranab Mukher­jee’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the RSS’s con­vo­ca­tion cer­e­mony – Sangh Shik­sha Varg: Tritya Var­sha – at Nag­pur kicked off a po­lit­i­cal firestorm. He has now emerged as a fu­ture Prime Min­is­te­rial can­di­date. It seems like a far-fetched idea, but to para­phrase an old tag line from Nike ads: im­pos­si­ble is noth­ing in pol­i­tics. His daugh­ter, Sharmistha, and son, Abhijit Mukher­jee, both of whom are ac­tive in the Congress party, have de­nied that their fa­ther is join­ing pol­i­tics. But Pran­abda doesn’t care much about his chil­dren’s po­lit­i­cal loy­alty. He re­port­edly fol­lows the ad­vice of his for­mer sec­re­tary, Omita Paul, whose hus­band, KK Paul, the for­mer Com­mis­sioner of Delhi Po­lice, and now the gov­er­nor of Ut­trak­hand, is close to the ail­ing BJP politi­cian, Arun Jaitely. Spec­u­la­tions abound the mo­tives of the RSS and Pranab. Ob­servers feel that the RSS has re­alised that the Naren­dra Modi-Amit Shah team may not be able to muster the de­sired ma­jor­ity in the 2019 na­tional elec­tions. Po­lit­i­cal pun­dits, who un­der­stand the mind­set of the Sangh, ar­gue that in­di­vid­u­als don’t mat­ter for the RSS. What mat­ters is the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s grip on power. RSS doesn’t wish to lose power, which it got back af­ter a decade. If not Modi, then Pranab is the most suit­able face for it. The lat­ter has im­pec­ca­ble cre­den­tials and ex­per­tise in po­lit­i­cal man­age­ment. If the BJP is un­able to gar­ner a ma­jor­ity in 2019, Pranab can emerge as an ideal poster boy. The for­mer Pres­i­dent has friends in all the po­lit­i­cal par­ties. Imag­ine a sce­nario in which Sharad Pawar, Ud­hav Thackeray, Mu­layam Singh Ya­dav, Deve Gowda, Lalu Ya­dav, Mamta Ban­er­jee, Mayawati, Prakash Singh Badal, Nara Chan­drababu Naidu, Si­taram Yechury, Chan­drasekhar Rao, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gad­kari, Arun Jaitely and Ra­j­nath Singh agree to give a new shape to In­dian polity and govern­ment. De­spite hic­cups, they would want to gang up to form the govern­ment in 2019. The beauty of the sce­nario is that Pran­abda knows the Congress well. Re­sources can prove to be an up­hill task. But hang on: Pranab is the ‘un­cle’ of a Mum­bai-based in­dus­trial house, whose cof­fers are al­ways open for the pa­tri­arch of In­dian pol­i­tics. It’s in­ter­est­ing to note that the Pranab Mukher­jee Trust re­ceived ` 180 crore as do­na­tion re­cently.

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