Wednesday, February 21, 2018
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The expected-- but spectacular nevertheless—victory of NDA candidate Ramnath Kovind in the Presidential election has proved once again that the strategic genius of Modi and Amit Shah could not be grounded by the combined strength of the Opposition parties . Cross voting during the poll took place on both the sides but on the whole it helped the winning candidate to increase his victory margin. In Meira Kumar, Kovinda was undoubtedly facing a formidable opponent. Both are Dalits.

Moreover, Meira Kumar is a celebrity in her own right, having been a successful Speaker of the Lok Sabha for five years. This is not all. She enjoyed the advantage of being the daughter of a great freedom fighter Jagjivan Ram whose contributions towards the cause of freedom in the pre-independence era and constructive role in the post-independence period were unique and outstanding, But obviously the MPs and MLAs voted for the present and failed to be swayed away by the name of a legend from the glorious era, knowing full well that what matters today is not the past but the present. And the present era belongs to Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.

The incredible journey of Ram Nath Kovind, the would-be 14th President of India, from Kanpur Dehat to Raisina Hills, is so unbelievable as to leave one stunned if not charmed as well. Barely a month ago, little was known about this man, despite his being one of the senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and in spite of having served as the non-controversial governor of a politically sensitive state like Bihar. The fact that he could even win the trust of opposition leaders like Nitish Kumar and Naveen Patnaik when political tempers ran high in the Opposition camps, shows that our would-be President believes in reconciling the irreconcilables. And that is what one expects from the President of India. If Kovind has named former Presidents Rajendra Prasad , Dr Radhakrishnan and DR A.P.J.Abdul Kalam as his ideals, the reason is crystal clear . All the three former Presidents were above politics. He has also praised the outgoing President Pranabh Mukherjee because he too has shown how an individual, who has been a very active and successful politician for several decades, can transform himself to fit into a new, non-partisan role with exemplary brilliance.
Kovind’s victory will make many people wonder: In which country can a son of a poor Dalit farmer, who has grown up living in a mud house in a village with leaking thatched roofs during monsoons, dream of becoming the President of India? It is possible probably only in India where not one but many Kovinds have risen to the top from nowhere — be they the former President APJ Kalam or the present Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Soon after the results were announced the President elect said: ‘I come from a poor family and will enter the Rastrapati Bhavan as a representative of the poor’. Isn’t that a brilliant, opening note to begin a new journey?

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