India's highest Constitutional post falls vacant on July 24, 2012 when President Pratibha Patil's term ends. Several names are doing the rounds as nominees for the top post, including that of Vice President Hamid Ansari, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and NCP leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma.
The United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre has to depend on other parties as it does not have the required numbers to elect a President on its own strength. We had conducted an online poll to find out whom the people of India want as their next President. The results were interesting.
Sam Pitroda, policymaker and the current advisor to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations, topped the poll with 23,098 votes or 51.41 per cent of the votes polled. Former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam was the second most popular choice of the online audience with 15,682 votes or 34.91 per cent of votes polled.
Of the total 44,925 votes polled, the nearest anyone came to giving competition to Pitroda and Kalam was Infosys founder and Chief Mentor N R Narayana Murthy with 2,007 votes followed by 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan with 1,313 votes.
Somnath Chatterjee, Pranab Mukherjee and Hamid Ansari got 499, 486 and 352 votes respectively. Since the last online poll, the equations have shifted in the ruling coalition with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee remaining non-committal on Pranab Mukherjee, strongly backing Meira Kumar as a possible candidate. With his party refusing to back him for the Presidential race, Sangma said if necessary he would contest the election to the top post as an Independent.
The competition is getting close. Take the new poll and tell us whom you want as the next President of India.