The Presidential election is a matter of prestige and pride for a ruling party to affirm its position in the Indian politics. The NDA government had no doubt an upper hand and the BJP has an excellent opportunity to place before the country a statesman figure with stature and respect to become India's first citizen.
Instead, what the BJP did was to reduce this election to caste and identity politics. It conveniently forgot that Dalits are no longer impressed with such shallow symbolism as is evident from decline of popularity of major Dalit leaders like Mayawati. In fact, by trying to force casteism in a simple political election, the BJP today stands totally exposed.
That the government is bereft of any imagination is quite evident as most of its major achievements are actually carry forwards of the previous UPA regime. The GST, Aadhar and other reforms were halfheartedly pushed by the UPA and carried with a vigor by the NDA. On the Kashmir issue, on joblessness, on manufacturing growth, this government is totally clueless. Even the way they are appearing gung ho about cows and their welfare or demonetization of currency notes shows little imagination on the part of powers to be.
Further more, by picking up a little known face from the political field, someone who has lost two elections to lead this prestigious post, shows how the BJP is getting bankrupt of leadership. They could have easily elevated a sitting chief minister or a popular cabinet minister who had wide experience and acceptance. But then in last three years little has the Modi government done to nurture new leaders. The most apparent reason why no present senior leader was chosen is that their is no one to replace them. The crucial defense ministry is awaiting a new Minister for a few months now and the government is clueless whom to assign it. This is ironical given the large majority the government enjoys in the Parliament.
It is a huge disappointment that a seemingly progressive government falls back to old age caste identities to shore up a few extra brownie points. It is a clear indicator that it is desperate for a new constituency without even trying to fulfill aspirations of its loyal follower base.