Hyderabad: The Opposition has the numbers to embarrass the ruling party in the Upper House, for which the Vice-President will be the Chairman.
In fact, the choice of M Venkaiah Naidu has been prompted by a host of factors, prominent among which is his acceptability across India’s political spectrum. He is the NDA's ambassador for opposition in Parliamentary politics.
An articulating yet affable political leader with decades of distinguished parliamentary career, Venkaiah Naidu, despite his impeccable ideological credentials, is not averse to accommodating others' viewpoint.
An accessible leader to anyone and everyone in opposition, Naidu puts across his party’s view with wit and humour without sacrificing his political position. Thus, he is an unassailable leader within the NDA combine and, therefore, the opposition may find it difficult to dispute his candidature.
No opposition can accuse him as an 'unknown' person as they did with the NDA presidential nominee. Venkaiah Naidu is the most visible face of BJP for decades in the national polity.
The BJP has won the political battle by cleverly fielding a non-controversial yet committed party worker for the post of President. Choosing a Dalit from India's largest state, Uttar Pradesh, the party tried to present itself as an author of inclusive politics.
The BJP with this masterstroke could successfully disrupt the opposition unity that will have far-reaching implications for India's electoral politics in 2019.
By fielding the charismatic Venkaiah Naidu, the BJP could make the opposition more nervous and turn the contest pointless. Yet, if the opposition chooses to remain in the fray, it will only be more symbolic than the presidential election.
Venkaiah Naidu, the statesman-politician, is the most popular BJP leader from South India where the party still struggles to penetrate. Thus, his selection is politically appropriate for the ruling combine. Yet, none can find fault with his choice.