In 2012 Presidential elections the Congress Party fielded Pranab Mukherjee as its candidate to become India’s First Citizen. This son of a freedom fighter, who fought against British colonialism, had served the Congressfor more than four decades in various ministerial positions. His opponent, P. A. Sangma, a Christian “tribal” hailing from the state of Meghalaya, gave him good contest.
In the Vice-Presidential Elections in August, Congress Party nominee Hamid Ansari saw off the challenge from the National Democratic Alliance candidate Jaswant Singh. These two papers by Klaus Voll, FEPS Correspondent for Asia, and Kamakshi Nanda, historian and political analyst, chart out the course of two elections, examine the profiles of the main candidates, and provide a concise explanation of the role and functions of the offices of President and Vice-President of the Republic of India.
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