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Home > Election Analysis > 'Different Headings' but 'One President'

'Different Headings' but 'One President'

Today's newspapers are flooded with news of election of Ram Nath Kovind as the new President of India who will be officially sworn in as the 14th President of India on 25th July 2017. Each newspaper has a different headline but all are adjectives for our new President.

"A success for party's Dalit outreach: BJP SC wing on Kovind's win"
"Kovind's victory will help pan-India alliance plans in 2019: BJP"
"How damaging is Meira Kumar’s defeat for Opposition unity?"

Each newspaper is having a different heading for the election of the President and different groups are claiming to have made their victory in the victory of Ram Nath Kovind. But after 25th July 2017 when he takes over as the President of India he will have to be the President of India. He will have to rise above all groups who supported him or not supported him and become the President for the whole country for the real implementation of success of the democracy in the country which many a times comes across many challenges.

Political commentators have called Kovind's nomination to India's top constitutional post as BJP's ploy to shed its upper-caste image and woo the Dalit community, especially in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. But he will have to rise above all caste lines and be the President of all castes and creed of India.

Some comments which are coming is that he can also help the NDA to get his assent on key bills, especially through the ordinances route. Ordinances are issued by the Centre when the Parliament is not in session the president can give his assent to an ordinance if he or she is satisfied that there is a need for such an action. Having a NDA nominee as the president can help the ruling alliance push through its ordinances. Ordinances have been a way for the NDA to circumvent the Rajya Sabha, where it lacks a majority. Between 2014 and August 2016, the Modi government issued 22 ordinances to bypass the Upper House of the Parliament. Though the position in Rajya Sabha is not the same for NDA but the new President will have to think about the value of these ordinances.

While presidents are generally considered rubber stamps of ruling parties which have brought them to power in India, there have been times when the president has refused to toe the government line and reserved bills for reconsideration. The present President has got all the right to go against the might of ruling party. There are two prominent instances of the president refusing assent to a bill. In 1987, the then president Zail Singh refused to give his assent to the Indian Post Office (Amendment) Bill, creating friction between him and Rajiv Gandhi. Two decades later, in 2006, APJ Abdul Kalam refused to approve the Office of Profit bill, passed by the Congress-led UPA government.

The success of the new President will depend on his success as ‘One President’, cutting across all newspaper headings and supports.

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