oppn parties What Is Pranab Mukherjee Up To?

News Snippets

  • SC says it will revisit its definition of 'Hindutva' in the light of growing hate speeches
  • Indigo reduces the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra to three months after an inquiry committee finds that it was a Level 1 offense not meriting a 6-month ban
  • Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral says Delhi Police did not act on his phone call asking them to help 16 people trapped in riot-hit areas
  • AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked for murder and arson, says he is being framed
  • New HC bench allows the Delhi Police plea that the situation is no conducive to the filing of FIRs and also allows the Centre to become a party to the case
  • Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, who was part of the bench that pulled up the Delhi Police for not filing FIRs against BJP leaders for hate speeches, transferred to Punjab HC
  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
oppn parties
What Is Pranab Mukherjee Up To?

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2018-05-29 21:50:39

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.