Gopalkrishna Gandhi Declines Opposition's Offer To Be Presidential Candidate

Gopalkrishna Gandhi said he was grateful that his name was considered for the Presidential race but he opined that the opposition's candidate "should be one who will generate a national consensus".

By Subhasish Dutta
Mon, 20 Jun 2022 04:30 PM IST
Minute Read
Gopalkrishna Gandhi Declines Opposition's Offer To Be Presidential Candidate
A file image of Gopalkrishna Gandhi. (Pic credits: Twitter @INCIndia)

New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the former West Bengal Governor and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, on Monday, declined the offer to become the opposition parties' joint candidate for the upcoming Presidential election.

In a statement, Gopalkrishna Gandhi said he was grateful that his name was considered for the Presidential race but he opined that the opposition's candidate "should be one who will generate a national consensus".

"May India get a President worthy of the office presaged by Rajaji as the last Governor General and inaugurated by Dr Rajendra Prasad as our first President," said Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who had also served as India's High Commissioner to South Africa and Sri Lanka.

"Several esteemed leaders of the Opposition have done me the honour of thinking of me for the Opposition's candidature in the upcoming elections for the highest office of Rashtrapati. I am most grateful to them. But having considered the matter deeply I see that the Opposition's candidate should be one who will generate a national consensus and a national atmosphere beside Opposition unity. I feel there will be others who will do this far better than I. And so I have requested the leaders to give the opportunity to such a person," he added.

Last week, the opposition parties, led by Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, held a meeting to decide on a common candidate for the upcoming Presidential polls.

The meeting, held in New Delhi on June 16, was called by the Trinamool Congress and was attended by 16 opposition parties, including Congress, NCP, CPI, CPI (M), CPIML, RSP, Shiv Sena, RJD, SP, National Conference, PDP, JD(S), DMK, RLD, IUML, and JMM.

According to reports, Gopalkrishna Gandhi was touted as one of the opposition's picks for Presidential candidate along with NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and NC leader Farooq Abdullah.

However, both Pawar and Farooq Abdullah have declined the offer. 

Meanwhile, the Congress party has been reaching out to other opposition parties for a common candidate for the presidential polls.

The BJP-led NDA is comfortably placed to win the presidential election, with its vote share touching the 50 per cent mark of the total electors.

While there are 776 MPs of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, each having 700 votes, there are 4,033 legislators in states with different votes who will also elect President Ram Nath Kovind's successor.

Though the final list of electors is yet to be notified, the NDA has 440 MPs in its favour while the opposition UPA has around 180 MPs, besides 36 MPs of the TMC who normally support the opposition candidate.

The election for the President will be held on July 18 which will see voting by members of both the Houses of Parliament and state Assemblies.

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