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Let the best man prevail

Let the best man prevail
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First Published: Tue, Apr 28 2009. 12 51 AM IST
Updated: Tue, Apr 28 2009. 12 51 AM IST
Does it matter if the prime minister (PM) hails from the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha? Is it a matter of concern if able ministers are to be sourced from the council of states? Leaders with very different views, such as L.K. Advani and Prakash Karat, have said the PM should be from the Lok Sabha.
There are two issues at stake: parliamentary tradition and the talent required to run a hard-to-govern country. Tradition demands that a PM be elected to the Lok Sabha. This is a British convention grafted onto India. Tradition, however, should not turn into a hindrance. If the PM-from-Lok Sabha argument is cemented, it has the potential to do great damage. This is especially true given the kind of candidates who have been elected to the Lok Sabha in recent decades.
A balance between the two imperatives should suit India fine. Every effort should be made to select a candidate with appropriate political experience from the Lower House of Parliament. But if that is not possible, it is best to get the best person even if he is from the Rajya Sabha.
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First Published: Tue, Apr 28 2009. 12 51 AM IST