In what could be a political masterstroke, the Modi government conferred Bharat Ratna on former president Pranab Mukherjee, who grudged not being made Prime Minister despite his long association with Congress.
Six months ago, when Pranab attended a RSS event at Nagpur, many in his party, whom he had nurtured, were quick to find fault with his decision.
The outrage was so much that none other than his daughter Sharmishta Mukherjee tweeted against her father’s decision.
With the government conferring the highest national award on Pranab, Congressmen had to greet him— and they did exactly the same. Apart from deepening a sense of discomfort in the Congress, the move could also help the BJP to counter Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal to some extent.
Besides the BJP, which recently took the decision to provide 10% quota to poor among the general category, could also deepen the outreach impression with this decision as Pranab is currently the most known Brahmin face in Indian politics apart from being a statesman.
There was always a grapevine that Pranab couldn’t be the prime minister because of a “trust deficit” between him and the Gandhi family. After the award was announced, Pranab’s son Abhijit Mukherjee tweeted saying that he is proud to be a Congressman and Pranab’s son.
Sharmistha also tweeted saying that it’s “a moment of pride and bliss for the family.”