It is reported from the national capital that the ruling BJP at the Centre has undergone a huge ‘change of heart’ at the last minute and has decided to field Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam as its Presidential candidate to replace incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee whose tenure as President ends on 14th July.
Sathasivam, the second Tamil to hold the post of Chief Justice of India (during his tenure from July, 2013 to April, 2014) and the first-ever CJI in the country to have taken up a gubernatorial assignment, is said to have become the ruling BJP’s choice as the next President, ahead of Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu, who were cited as possible Presidential candidates.
Ruling BJP at the Centre is keen in getting its nominee elected as President even as opposition parties are planning to spoil its party by fielding their consensus candidate. Both the ruling and opposition parties have, however, not finalized their candidates. Murmu, a tribal, was believed to be the BJP’s best choice for the post of President even as Sumitra Mahajan found many takers within the party to hold the post.
BJP’s committee to finalize the Presidential candidate comprises party president Amit Shah, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiak Naidu. Opposition’s committee for the same purpose includes Ghulam Nabi Azad, DMK’s R.S. Barathi, etc. The BJP calculates that Sathasivam, who hails from an agricultural background, may get the approval of all concerned parties.