Pranab Mukherjee may have a role to play post-2019 elections; that is RSS plan.
As former president Pranab Mukherjee prepares to deliver a talk at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur this evening, the question being discussed is whether the Hindu outfit is trying to groom him for a major role post 2019 general elections.
Pranab is the Vajpayee of the Congress. He has friends across political spectrum. He is an acceptable candidate for both the BJP, NDA allies and, even the Opposition. It is indeed surprising that BJP has not commented so far on Pranab’s visit to the RSS HQ. All the comments have been muted.
In 2019, there is a possibility that the BJP may run short of a majority. It may need the support of allies both from the NDA and UPA stock. Many miffed allies in the NDA are privately saying that they are ready to do business with the BJP but without Narendra Modi at the helm. Should such a scenario arise, Pranab may be pushed to the front by the RSS.
Even allies who have walked out of the NDA fold – like the TDP – may come back if Pranab is at the helm.
But can former president stand for the post of PM? Technically there is no rule that prevents such a move, but convention has it that presidents retire from politics once he or she demits office.