Presidential Election (2012) in India


Photo: Sangma (L), and Mukherjee (R) are possible candidates for the Presidential Election in India. The former is likely to be backed by the NDA, while the latter, the UPA.

India is the world’s largest democracy. It has always been interesting for me whenever I read about politics in India.

My first awareness of politics in India was in 2004, when India was conducting its General Elections – BJP and their allies (they formed the Federal government before that election) were up against Congress and their allies.

Now in 2012, the ground for the Presidential Election in India is heating up. The Indian voters do not vote for their President. Instead, the President is voted into office by Members of Parliament (MPs) at the Federal level, and Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) in the various Indian states.

The Presidential Election will see regional parties playing an important role because they do have MLAs in the states that they had contested for in their respective state elections.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is headed by BJP. In NDA, some parties like Shiv Sena from the state of Maharashtra, and Janata Dal (United) from the state of Bihar, are supporting the candidacy of Pranab Mukherjee.

Mukherjee is a candidate put up by the Congress Party, which heads the United Progressive Alliance. So now you see NDA component parties supporting a Congress candidate.

Over the other side, you see the Trinamool Congress (a component party of UPA, based in the state of West Bengal) not (…yet?) supporting Mukherjee. Just last week, Trinamool Congress publicly supported another candidate (ex-President Kalam).

Meanwhile, AIADMK (part of the NDA) from the state of Tamil Nada is propping up the candidancy of P.A Sangma (a key figure in the National Congress Party, which is a part of the UPA).

At a NDA meeting several days back, BJP finally decided to back the candidancy of Sangma despite some component parties supporting Mukherjee or preferring a no contest. NCP has since expelled Sangma.

Why writing so much for an election whereby no voter in the world’s largest democracy will cast their vote? Politics in India has been characterized as parties changing alliances quickly. The Presidential Election will allow the world to see if parties are leaving their current alliances and joining the other side for the General Election in 2014.

Have a simple read of electoral politics in India, one will realize that the days of one-party rule in India are long over. Nowadays, the Federal government consists of a coalition of parties. Hence, small regional parties are important to large parties such as the Congress and BJP.

Moreover, once in the Federal government, these regional parties and their leaders will play a role in national policies in India – which is one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

In the future, I will be happy if I have the time to write a little on some of the most notable national and regional parties and their leaders. After all, those who are interested in politics (electoral politics especially) must not forget to take interest in India – dubbed the world’s largest democracy.


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