Pranab Mukherjee is the President of India and has been in the office since July 2012. He has had a career in politics for more than six decades and is one of the senior most leaders of the Indian National Congress. With a huge experience of politics as his strength, he is considered to be a very gentle and patriotic personality even by his critics. Previously, he served the posts of Minister of Finance, Minister of Defense, Minister of Home Affairs and the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. He became the President of India after defeating his opponent P. A. Sangma with a considerable amount of Electoral votes. A few days ago, Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India, declared that he will not cast vote in the coming Lok Sabha Polls of 2014. Clearly, this is a controversial step and many a political commentator is criticizing this decision.
India is a democratic country and people have the right to vote and choose the legitimate leader. More than being right, it is the responsibility of people to vote for the best-suited candidate so that the rightful candidate is able to serve the country, state, place and its people. It ensures that the country’s citizens are able to enjoy utmost comfort and opportunities in their own country. However, there are several incidences where people do not exercise this fundamental duty which ultimately hampers the federal structure of a democratic country.
Lok Sabha elections are going to be held for the first time under the presidency of Pranab Mukherjee. Although he has decided not to cast his vote, the move has sparked the legitimacy of such a move. According to senior journalists, it may affect the citizens in a bad way and basically undermines the concept of voting.
However, the President believes that it will be unfair of any President to cast vote for a particular political party. According to him, this step is necessary to remain neutral towards any party, for the overall benefit and betterment of the country.
Indian President, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, seems devoted enough not to cast his vote, to carry on the tradition of the past Presidents of India. There are quite a few personalities who did not vote on elections while holding the Presidential office. However, Presidents like APJ Abdul Kalam and Pratibha Patil both casted their votes in the year 2004 and 2009 respectively.
It is said, that if he wanted to vote, either from South Kolkata or from Delhi, suitable arrangements could have been made. In fact, his office also made arrangements by opting for postal ballot. Even after the exemplary facilities being offered to him, he still believes in being neutral and not casting vote. This decision has received mixed opinions from people throughout the country as some are in favour of his decision, while the others are not. People, who are not in the favour, believe that Pranab Mukherjee should cast his vote as he is the citizen of the country and more importantly, the First Citizen. However, there are several others who believe and support his sense of neutrality sincerity of duty.
Returning back to the old tradition, which APJ Abdul Kalam and Pratibha Patil had broken, is Pranab Mukherjee’s final decision. Every decision has different opinions from different sets of people and respecting each decision and opinion is the right enjoyed by people of any democratic country. Hence, the decision of not casting a vote is solely Pranab Mukherjee’s decision, irrespective of whether he is the President of this country or not.
Opinion By Sunando Basu