oppn parties What Is Pranab Mukherjee Up To?

News Snippets

  • 84 NDRF teams have been despatched to 23 states to tackle the flood situation
  • Three persons lynched in Bihar after being accused of cattle theft
  • Delhi police seize a consignment of 1500 kgs of heroin and busts a cartel of Afghanistan-Pakistan narcotics dealers with links to the Taliban
  • Supreme Court gives 9 more months to complete the Babri Masjid demolition case trial
  • Priyanka Gandhi not allowed to meet the families of the dead in the Sonabhadra firing, arrested
  • ICC inducts Sachin Tendulkar in [email protected]@@s Hall of Fame
  • Stock markets bleed for the second day. Sensex crashes 560 points
  • S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, says Pakistan should release and repatriate Kulbhushan Jadhav immediately
  • Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala asks the Speaker to hold the trust vote latest by 1.30 pm today
  • The Government sends a list of 24 questions to mobile app company that runs video app TikTok seeking answers for anti-national and obscene content carried on the platform
  • Sarvana Bhawan founder P Rajagopal, serving a life term for murder, dies in a Chennai hospital
  • SC allows time till July 31 to the Ayodhya mediation panel
  • IT department attaches "benami" plot worth Rs 400cr in Noida. The plot allegedly belongs to BSP leader [email protected]@@s brother and his wife
  • Dawood [email protected]@@s nephew, Md. Rizwan Iqbal, was arrested from Mumbai airport as he was waiting to board a flight to Dubai
  • Trouble brews in Bihar JD(U)-BJP alliance as Bihar police asks special branch officers to keep tabs on RSS activities
Even after indicating that the trust vote will be held today (he said he cannot delay as he had to face the world), the Karnataka Speaker adjourns the assembly until Monday. Voting is likely to take place on Monday
oppn parties
What Is Pranab Mukherjee Up To?

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Is former president Pranab Mukherjee taking a lead role in bringing together non-Congress, non-BJP (including disgruntled Congress and BJP) opposition leaders to form a Third Front? Ever since Mukherjee accepted an invite to address RSS cadres, this news is being given prominence, although one cannot see the connection between the two. If Mukherjee is indeed the leading player in the shaping of the Third Front, why would the RSS invite him and more importantly, why would he accept? But NDTV.com has carried an article that says that Navin Patnaik is pushing Mukherjee into the role and quotes sources to say that whatever Mamata Banerjee is doing is at Mukherjee’s bidding.

There is no doubt that Pranab Mukherjee would have been the best Prime Minister India never had. Given his rich experience in politicking under the redoubtable Indira Gandhi and handling various ministries, Mukherjee was ideally suited to occupy the top post in 2004. But since the royal family that controls the Congress has always been suspicious of him, they chose Manmohan Singh and elevated Mukherjee as the President. Ostensibly, it raised his status. But a dyed-in-the-wool politician like Mukherjee can never be satisfied with a ceremonial post. Hence, the rumours about him trying to make a comeback through the Third Front are not entirely unbelievable.

If Mukherjee is acting as the glue to which opposition leaders from regional parties will stick, it will also solve one big problem the Third Front faces – that of agreeing upon a leader to be the prime minister in the event it wins majority. Mukherjee’s status in Indian politics is unmatched. Although he is not as expert an orator as Narendra Modi, what he lacks in rhetoric he can easily make up in credibility. People will listen to him a hundred times more than all other opposition leaders put together. This is one development that brightens up the chances of a viable third front coming up before 2019, once the mystery of his accepting the RSS invitation is cleared.