Attention shifts after drawing battle lines for Presidential election
New Delhi: With the settling of dust over the presidential election , the spotlight has shifted to vice-presidential election which has to be held in August next. It has become a hot topic of discussion both in the ruling and opposition camps.
Several names are already in circulation for the post . Though, like the presidential nominee the candidate for this position is likely to be finalised by Modi- Shah duo and the surprise element is not ruled out, one of the names doing the rounds in this connection is that of Hukumdev Narayan Yadav, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former minister.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance may go for him because he belongs to an influential cast in Bihar and it may help the group make a dent into Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad Yadav's vote-bank. It may work to the advantage of the the alliance in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections too. The BJP had received a severe jolt in the state in the previous assembly elections and the party may like to regain some lost ground.
Another name mentioned is that of union minister M Venkataih Naidu. The saffron party is relatively weak in the southern states and may like to strengthen its position. An election in the southern state of Karnataka is due to be held next year and his selection may be beneficial to the party in the assembly elections.
Some sections of the ruling alliance do not totally rule out possibility of selection of a woman candidate. Former Manipur governor Najma Heptulla or former Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel may be considered for the post if the alliance favours a departure from the past. What may go against this choice is that one woman, Sumitra Mahajan, has been already offered a top post.
Everything, however, depends on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He may spring a surprise and name some unknown or less known person again. Similar thing had happened in case of the presidential nominee. One person ( Ram Nath Kovind) who was not in the list of probables of any group was the final choice.
The alliance with the support of regional parties can easily sail through. However, all the regional parties which have assured support in the presidential election may not side with it in vice-presidential poll The Janata Dal( U) leader and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar may not show the same kind of interest.
The term of vice president Hamid Ansari expires on August 19 next and the election, if necessary, has to be held before August 10.