A day after 18 political parties arrived at an ‘informal consensus’ over choosing Gopalkrishna Gandhi as the Opposition’s Vice-Presidential candidate, the former bureaucrat said he does not see himself as a politician. “I am grateful to the 18 opposition parties for having thought of me. I see myself as a citizen candidate. I am not a politician,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. The Indian Express earlier reported how the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and C Rajagopalachari had received support from all 18 parties due to his surname and his absence from active politics, among other things.
On Wednesday, Gandhi said he was worried about the future of India. “I’m worried about the future of India in this critical time. But I have faith in institutions of democracy and common sense of Indians,” he told ANI. “There is a mini crisis in India. Crisis of terror, fear and there is also an agrarian crisis.”
Trinamool leader Derek O’Brien had formally proposed Gandhi’s name as a candidate in Tuesday’s meeting of opposition parties. This holds special relevance since the former West Bengal governor had criticised the Left government’s use of forces during the Nandigram struggle. “Was this spilling of human blood not avoidable? What is the public purpose served by the use of force that we have witnessed today?” he had asked.
After the NDA government was voted to power in 2014, Gandhi had written an open letter to PM Narendra Modi saying,“India’s minorities are not a segment of India, they are an infusion in the main. Anyone can burn rope to cinder, no one can take the twist out of it. Bharat mata ki jai, sure, Mr. Modi, but not superseding the compelling urgency of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s clarion — Jai Hind!”