Pratibha Patil, the Precedent


Shekhar Gupta (as always) puts forward an articulated argument why Pratibha Patil is not the right choice for President in his aptly titled column in The Indian ExpressNational Interest.

Excerpts:

The Congress’ guilt is not so much about who they chose for the job as it is about how it trivialised that job, to begin with…

You have to first decide what the presidency is all about. Is it about political experience? Is it about respect? Or, put another way, is it merely a ceremonial office, or is it an important political office? It cannot be both and that is one more reason the Congress sounds so unconvincing — and unconvinced…

The way the party and its allies – at least those that it consulted – went about selecting the next president, it seemed it was the least important sinecure in the Republic. Now you can’t defend yourselves saying, don’t take notice of any adverse revelations about her, after all, come July 25, and she will represent the glory of the Republic…

And, how’s this for irony? This is the same party that was so exquisitely careful in choosing its prime minister.

More on Pratibha from The Express:

* ‘Tai may become President, what about us who have been cheated?’ (June 30, 2007)

* Probe how bank was sold dirt cheap, file criminal case: order came in April (June 30, 2007)

* ‘Govt seriously considering compulsory sterilisation‘ (June 30, 2007)

* Her latest gem: ‘Mughals respected women so much that purdah came in’ (June 29, 2007)

* After women & veil, it’s now dead man talking for Patil (June 27, 2007)

* Patil was aware of her bank mess, top defaulters her kin (June 27, 2007)

* BJP says country faces prospect of ‘tainted President’ (June 27, 2007)

* Pratibha bank waived loans for kin before RBI shut it down (June 25, 2007)

* Forcible sterilisation of those with hereditary disease: Pratibha Patil’s ‘Emergency’ idea (June 24, 2007)

* Clarify on Rajani’s allegations, says BJP (June 24, 2007)

* Congman’s wife drags Pratibha name into allegations, NDA distances itself (June 23, 2007)

* Sugar mill started by Patil sealed for loan default (June 23, 2007)

* Patil’s purdah remark courts controversy (June 19, 2007)

* Pratibha who? (June 17, 2007)

* CV of first would-be ‘woman President’: backed Indira, backed by Rajiv (June 15, 2007)

Previously on Cutting the Chai:

* Pratibha Patil: Who, Why?

[Image courtesy: The Indian Express]