RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat For Next President of India?

Mohan Bhagwat
Police would file a case against RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat for hoisting national flag at a school in Kerala

New Delhi, March 28: Current Indian President Pranab Mukherjee’s term drawing to a close, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) partner Shiv Sena — seen mostly as its proxy-opposition at the Centre and in Maharashtra — has come up with an amazing proposal. The Presidential election is due in July.

Mohan Bhagwat, the chief of Bharatiya Janata Party’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), should be considered for the next Presidential post, the Shiv Sena has told the Narendra Modi government.

The Executive Editor of Samana and Rajya Sabha Member Sanjay Raut said if the dream of a “Hindu Rashtra” (Hindu nation) has to be fulfilled, then Mohan Bhagwat should be made the President of India.

“The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has selected and appointed chief ministers associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and they shouldn’t shy away from nominating Mohan Bhagwat for the President of India,” says Sanjay Raut.

But, at the same time, Sanjay Raut adds a warning: The Shiv Sena’s decision on whom to support for the post will be taken only by party supremo Uddhav Thackeray and it is necessary that he be consulted. “One should speak to Uddhav-ji, who is in Mumbai. If you want our support for this candidate (Mr. Mohan Bhagwat) for the President’s post, do come to Mumbai and meet Uddhav-ji,” Raut said.

“After a long time, there is an atmosphere of Hindutva in India. A Hindutvawadi [pro-Hindu] leader is the Prime Minister of India in the form of Narendra Modi. At a recent time, Mahant Yogi Adityanath, another Hindutva leader, was made the chief minister of UP. So if the dream of a Hindu Rashtra has to be fulfilled, then Mohan Bhagwat should be made the next President of India,” Sanjay Raut told Hindustan Times.

Current President Mukherjee’s term comes to an end in July, 2017 and there are guesses that the Modi government will look for a fresh face for the nation’s first citizen.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s very hot victories in assembly polls have stacked the numbers in electoral college – the body that chooses the President -in its favor. The Electoral College for the presidential election comprises 776 parliamentarians and 4,120 legislators. Its total strength is 10,98,882 votes and the halfway mark is 5,49,442 votes. Even counting the support of Shiv Sena, the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will fall short of 25,000 votes.

Asked if reports that Uddhav Thackeray has been invited for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) meet later this month by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is correct, Sanjay Raut countered with a question: “Have you seen the invitation?”

“Such meetings of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) keep happening, but the election to such an important post is a big thing. If you want our support, you have to come to Mumbai to invite us,” Sanjay added.

The troubled relationship between the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had hit an all-time low in the run-up to the Mumbai civic polls, with Uddhav Thackeray announcing that he would not enter an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in future.

Earlier, Uddhav Thackeray and many leaders of Shiv Sena had taken every opportunity to criticize the Maharashtra government as well as Central Government. Sena opposed the Central government’s handling of demonetization and criticized its choice of Sharad Pawar for Padma awards.

Shiv Sena also opposed the Central government’s  policy towards Pakistan and its floods and droughts in the country.

Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party  (BJP) leader Lal Krishna Advani (LK Advani) is a being a frontrunner for the president’s post. Another senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Murli Manohar Joshi too is believed to be in the running for the president’s post.

Current Manipur Governor Najma Heptullah too is said to be in running for the presidential race. A five-time Rajya Sabha member, Najma Heptullah was a Congress member till 2004, and after that, she joined in BJP.

Actor-turned-BJP politician Shatrughan Sinha had pitched Bollywood everytime star Amitabh Bachchan’s name as the President of India. The BJP leader said it would be a matter of pride if a cultural icon like Amitabh Bachchan was made the country’s president.