Making the right choice

On prime ministerial candidates for next general election
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First Published: Tue, Jan 29 2013. 11 54 PM IST
Photo: Hindustan Times
Photo: Hindustan Times
A strange fight has broken out among Indian politicians. More than a year before the general election, a fierce fight has ensued between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ally from Bihar, the Janata Dal (United), on who will be the next prime minister of India.
Call it counting chickens before the eggs have hatched. The BJP, a “party with a difference”, is now afflicted with the same malaise that haunts parties with a “high command”.
In a democracy, how fair is it to “name” a candidate for PM, a task that belongs to the legislators of the winning party or the coalition?
Naming a candidate
is perverse in another way. Instead of focusing on policies and programmes of a prospective party, all issues mutate into a question of personality. This makes democracy plebiscitary. This may be fine for city states, but is hardly healthy for a complex polity.
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First Published: Tue, Jan 29 2013. 11 54 PM IST
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