Why Abdul Kalam vs Sonia Gandhi

Why is it Abdul Kalam vs Sonia Gandhi? Why are things not pleasant between Abdul Kalam and Sonia Gandhi? Mamata likes him, people adore him, if given a chance, BJP will happily support him but why Congress hates APJ Abdul Kalam so much? Why on every chance that it has got, it has refused to consider Kalam as a presidential candidate. While Mamata’s rebellious tone and warning to UPA to break ties with TMC show her commitment to Kalam and his credentials to get the top job, Congress has left no chance to clearly show its reservations with Kalam.Why is Congress so disenchanted with the missile man?
There are three reasons for this-Kalam vs Sonia Gandhi

#1 Kalam has been a BJP choice always. In the year 2001, it was BJP who suggested his name for presidential post to the opposition to better its image as a secular party by nominating a Muslim. It so happened that TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu could not secure then Vice President Krishnan Kant’s nomination as President by NDA.Thus he chose a moderate Muslim name-Kalam, to which Vajpayee agreed. Since then BJP has had a special love for the scientist, which Congress sees as the only token of love, extended by BJP, which a symbol of minorities has happily accepted.

#2 Kalam proved to be a great obstacle in the way of Sonia Gandhi when Congress won 2004 Lok Sabha elections and she expressed her wish to take up PM’s post. Along with her own letter supporting her candidature as PM, 300+ letters reached Kalam to support her. According to Subramaniam Swamy, it was he who made Kalam aware of Indian Citizenship Act where a foreign born person may get Indian citizenship but not all the privileges which come with it. Now what are the constitutional provisions regarding this are still unclear but Kalam to be on a safer side made it clear that he will seek Supreme Court’s view on the matter. This rang a bell in the congress circle and thus Sonia gave up on the post, which she finally handed over to Manmohan Singh.

#3 Third instance that is a major wedge between Kalam and Congress and makes it Abdul Kalam vs Sonia Gandhi is his stand on the office of profit bill. In India a member of parliament cannot hold an office of profit- in state or central government, as it is seen as a conflict of interest with his/her duty as an MB. In the year 2006, under article 102(1), which empowers the parliament to declare certain offices exempt from this disqualification, a bill was framed by the parliament, which was aimed at systematically protecting some 40 MPs from disqualification. As the constitutional requirement is, this bill was passed hurriedly and sent to President Kalam for his signature to make it a law. President Kalam used his independent powers under article 111 of the constitution and did something which no president had done it before; he sent the bill to parliament for reconsideration. This took exemplary courage and led to a boost in the respect Kalam got from his countrymen. Sadly, parliament returned the bill as it is and Kalam had to sign it, as there is no provision of saying no or returning again in the constitution. This snowballed into a major controversy as Sonia Gandhi resigned from her seat as an MP while she was chairperson of NAC at that time.



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