Ability should be the only criteria
Readers of this blog would recall that I predicted that the Congress (and Sonia Gandhi too) would show some prudence in electing any seasoned politician from its camp (and there are many) to be the next Prime Minister. Sonia could still be the party supremo to act as the “source of inspiration” for the party workers as well as create a “power centre” within the organization to dispel internal feuds and power struggles (as the newspapers report, Sonia atleast tried her bit by saying a firm no to the PMship yesterday). Actually, on her becoming the PM I have a mixed opinion. On one hand I have strong objections to the BJP stand on this on the other I don't find her too capable for the post too. This was something I wrote on my Hindi blog almost 6 months ago:
Few days ago, Atalji was delighted at the prospects of Bobby Jindal becoming the Governor of Louisiana. Had he won the elections, perhaps he would have penned down a poem on the rising stature of NRIs. It feels good to see an Indian rise on the political ladders of any other nation, even if the person does not regard himself an Indian anymore, but a similar situation happening in our own country hurts, even if she is a lady married to an Indian, even if she speaks better Hindi than a former Prime Minister Devegowda can.
As a matter of fact, any qualification on the basis of which you and I would get selected in exams and recruitment processes cannot form the basis of being elected in politics, be it the education qualification, Age limit or work experience. It's little surprise that we often end up selecting illiterate people, people with criminal backgrounds or those in the last stages of their lives. And who can talk of electing here? In an era of coalition politics you can never be sure that the parties you rejected would not come to power as a result of their brokering allegiance with the largest party.
I am not a Sonia devotee, but I have reservations on the points on which she is being opposed. Selecting a veteran like Atalji or a novice like Sonia, there is no visible benefit in either propositions; while in the case of novices like Sonia, the people who would benefit are the beaurocrats and the kitchen cabinet would run the government in proxy, in the case of experienced players indulging in suitcase politics cannot be ruled out. I feel we need to take a middle route.
I am worried that with Sonia at the helm, the government will have to spend most of its time justifying its each and every action, as the opposition will raise doubts on the integrity of such decisions, especially in matters of national security.
Update[2:50 PM]: Sonia Gandhi has refused to be the Prime Minister.
While on the topic: