By Ritu Sharma
A Tamil Nadu-based political party has proposed the name of M. M. Rajendran, former governor of Odisha, as a Christian president of India.
“Rajendran has always been very service-oriented. He has given exemplary contribution to the society and has an unblemished career,” said P. Sivakami, head of Samuga Samatuva Padai Party (a party for social equality), in a press conference in New Delhi today.
Sivakami said that the president needs to be active physically and mentally and should have a vision for India and “Rajendran fits to the post entirely.”
She said that in view of the 2014 general elections in the country, India needs a non-political, common and a low-profile person at the top post as “he/she would not be biased toward any political party.”
Sivakami, who is a Hindu, said she was campaigning hard to mobilize support for Rajendran and has already conducted press meets and met political leaders in the northeastern and southern India.
She said that she has met Congress senior leader Digvijay Singh regarding the matter and is due to meet another senior leader of the party Ahmed Patel next week.
Sivakami said that although the post of a president is a ceremonial one, a president from the Christian minority will work on the minds of people.
“It will affect the people in terms of feelings, emotions and culture,” she added.
She said that at first there was not even a talk about a Christian president and now people have started talking about having one with some regional parties supporting former Lok Sabha speaker P. A. Sangma, who is a Roman Catholic and tribal, for the post.
Asked why her party is not supporting Sangma, she said that the latter is very high powered and in the midst of power politics.
Rajendran, who lives in Chennai, retired as a governor of Odisha in 2003.
The 77-year-old administrator, who is a Protestant from the Church of South India, topped the 1957 batch of the Indian Administrative Services.
He was a member of the UNICEF executive board and vice chairman of its program committee at New York.
He was appointed as the chief secretary of Tamil Nadu in 1988. He also served as a secretary in the ministries of human resources development, sports and parliamentary affairs.
The presidential election is due in July.
Source: UCAN India