Back in 2007, the nomination of Pratibha Devisingh patil as presidential candidate by UPA had come to me as a surprise. Unlike previous presidents, I hardly had heard her name, leave apart her contribution towards any major field of national interest.
With such comparatively less Personal Creditibility she Succeded the Missile man of India(kalam) and defeted a veteran(Bhairon singh shekhawat)to become the president of India only because of the fact that UPA which had a majority that time neither wanted Kalam for a second term nor they could find any high profile deserving candidate among them. And Ofcourse they couldn’t have voted for their opposition’s candidate.
Next month as she completes her 5 year term I look back only to find her name being highlighted for all wrong reasons. Her Retirement home on military land reserved for war widows to Lavisious and Quantitave Foreign trips with her large family members have all been a joke to the taxpayers hard earned money.
RTI records show President’s travel expenses to be Rs 205 Crores. Out of this Air India spent Rs 169cr on her visit and over Rs 36Cr were spent on her accomodation and ‘miscellaneous’ expenses. She has been accompanied by at least Three to as many as 11 family members in 14 domestic trips and four foreign trips in space of a year. And till now President patil has undertaken 12 foreign trips, covering 22 countries across 4 continents spending 79 days abroad. Her present trip to Seychelles and South Africa is her 13th.(Above image shows president with her grand daughters in south africa)
As the office of the President of India is preparing to bid adieu to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, the political race for the new president has started. Along with vice president Hamid Ansari, several other prominent names including Former president APJ Abdul kalam and veteran congress leader and present Finance Minister of India Pranab Mukharjee are being popped up by different parties. Recently Former Lok sabha speaker P A Sangma jumped into the fray raising the issue of president from a tribal community.
The name of Former president Abdul kalam whose second term was opposed by majority UPA in july 2007, was proposed this year by Samajwadi party chief Mulayam singh yadav. While no one can question on the integrity of Dr. Kalam, his support from other major parties like TMC and DMK are missing.
P A Sangma has already lost his creditability by suggesting his own name for the post. His argument of a Tribal President this year is improper. The post of the president is not a child’s play and cannot be reserved for a certain class. NCP leaders are also against the call by sangma.