The Indian Presidential election 2017 is about two weeks away but political leaders have already begun their quest of the candidate who will manoeuvre and exert as a replacement of Pranab Mukherjee. So who will be India’s next president?

Like every president, Pranab Mukherjee too hopes for a second term, but it looks like he may not be in the race for another term in Rashtrapati Bhavan. And the political parties have already been shopping for the next President of India with the opposition parties who are all set to meet Today to zero in on a consensus candidate for President. Likely candidates have ranged from BJP’s “Iron Man” –  LK Advani, to former Infosys head Narayan Murthy, to Najma Heptulla, the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, to even the superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth. But in each and every case, the edifice of conjecture has come crashing down as there has been no hint, let alone confirmation, on any of the political figureheads clinching the presidential race in the country.

Some say that it is Modi’s responsibility to look for ‘Kalam 2.0’ as India enjoyed the leadership of former NDA-era president, the much-loved “People’s President” APJ Abdul Kalam. The dream President of India could be described as someone who’s an icon, a legend in his/her own right, who’d be above the petty politicking within the factious theatre of Indian polity and would be acceptable to all. That is too much to ask for, but that is no kid’s play role anyway.

Modi-Shah’s choice:

The presidential choice of Amit Shah and Narendra Modi would be someone who aids the Modi government in not extending its political and electoral consolidation, but in fact, someone who’d fall perfectly into place to help execute the long-term plans of the Sangh-BJP combine.

1. Draupadi Murmu – Hailing all the way from Odisha, Murmu has served as a minister in Odisha state government and is currently the first woman Governor of Jharkhand. The BJP leader is considered to be one of the top contenders for the post of President of India.

2. Sumitra Mahajan – The current speaker of Lok Sabha, Mahajan comes with a huge political experience. From being the Minister of Human Resources, communication and petroleum in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government to being the head of parliamentary committees, Mahajan too is a strong contender.

3. Murli Manohar Joshi  A senior BJP leader and has been minister during Vajpayee government, Joshi had strong chances but the gravity and heft of Babri case is likely to bruise and blow his prospectus.

4. L K Advani – The BJP ‘iron man’, former Union Home Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and twice as Leader of Opposition, and the person who has always been frenzied and exerted for the Presidential post, L K Advani have shallow chances because of his advanced age (89) and again the burden of Babri Masjid case will pull him to the ground.

5. Mohan Bhagwat – With his open pitch towards reforming India along Hindu Rashtra blueprint, Bhagwat is an ideal Sangh choice but many fear that his half-pant history and RSS tag may not confer the needful dignity of the Presidential crown.

Opposition adversaries:

1. Sharad Pawar – The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief has been racing for the election and the former Maharashtra Chief Minister in the past and has frequently been considered as prime ministerial candidate. But it means that the next president will fill into the shoes of President Pranab Mukherjee, and I’ve heard he has pretty big feet, you know. So Would it be Sharad Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party? Or

2. Gopalkrishna Gandhi – The grandson of the father of the nation (complicated), Mahatma Gandhi who is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer who has also served as the joint-secretary to the President of India, former Governor of West Bengal, his clean image should work in his favour is a clean-chit candidate.

3. Dalit leader Meira Kumari – The Bihari Dalit leader and daughter of Jagjivan Ram, a five-time Member of Parliament (MP) and the first woman speaker of the Lok Sabha from 2009 to 2014, the lady known for her soft-spoken ways and calm demeanour amid frequent chaos with an ndian Foreign Service experience can be the soft-corner candidate.

There are even talks about the two ageless superstars of Indian cinema, Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth, there have been speculations doing the rounds for years on each of them being a possible presidential material. Or even the digital doyen – Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy who could make a true representative of Modi’s Digital India dreams.

Honestly, that’s a hell lot of eligible contenders from pretty much the whole spectrum of human being, so many choices, I am confused. Who do you think will be the next president of India?