Former Vice President M. Hamid Ansari has stoutly denied that he was in the running for President to succeed Pratibha Patil, depreciating the “Byzantine” course of that dragged his identify into the image — and even performed golf on the day the determination was to be introduced. But one is left questioning whether or not he nurtured a secret need that he held near his chest.
“Media speculation initially named former president Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as a possible candidate; he, however, denied it. One report quoted the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha saying that the BJP will not support anyone connected to the Congress,” Ansari writes in his memoirs, “By Many A Happy Accident – Recollections Of A Life” (Rupa), which is being launched on Thursday.
“A commentator (in May 2012) said that ‘almost no one is thinking of the other man in the race, who has done his work quietly for 10 years, always speaking his mind but never in a way that it causes controversy: Hamid Ansari’. Another report on 13 June said that ‘at this point one can only say that either Pranab Mukherjee or Vice President Hamid Ansari is likely to be the Congress candidate’, but this has to be finalised after acceptance by Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mamata Banerjee, whose votes would be essential, adding that a deal on many political issues’ with the former would be essential. Another media report said that ‘a series of bizarre developments…made this contest quite intriguing’. On 15 June, Reuters reported the Congress party named Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as its nominee for president,” Ansari writes.
“The political thinking behind the decision was delineated later by M.L. Fotedar,” Ansari writes. (This was that Ansari ought to have been the presidential candidate by priority however the view gaining floor was that elections to the sixteenth Lok Sabha may throw up a hung Parliament and Mukherjee’s huge abilities could be required in such a situation, Fotedar has written in his memoir, “The Chinar Leaves”.)
“Pranab Mukherjee’s memoirs give some details of the political background and the position and postures of the leaders involved.”
“Having nothing to contribute to the Byzantine course of, on the day a call was anticipated (12 June), I made a decision to play golf on a highly regarded afternoon with two of my pals, Ambassadors Garekhan and Naresh Dayal. Halfway by way of the recreation, a name from my workplace advised me of the determination and the recreation continued. That night, Pranab Mukherjee known as on me and I felicitated him.
“Late in the night the subsequent day, I conveyed to a senior functionary of the Congress my unhappiness at being pulled into the course of with out having being consulted; he, in flip, shared with me a few of the happenings that went into the determination making.
“A couplet of Daagh Dehlvi may have described the state of affairs:
“Quismat ki khoobi dekhiye, tooti kahan kamand/Do char haath jab ke lab-e-baam rah gaya (See the irony of Fate, the ladder has given away when the rooftop was just a few feet away),” Ansari writes.
What adopted was unanticipated as a couple of days later Prime Minster Manmohan Singh known as on him, “was somewhat apologetic” for what had occurred and “suddenly asked me if I would like to be considered for a second term”.
“It was my turn to be surprised; my answer was that I would be honoured. I thus became the second person, after Dr Radkahrishnan in 1957, to assume the office of Vice President for a second term,” Ansari writes.