Yes, have been spoken to: Gopalkrishna Gandhi on Opposition hunt for President

Sources said the names of Gopalkrishna Gandhi and Meira Kumar along with political faces like NCP’s Sharad Pawar and JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav are being discussed.

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi | Updated: May 11, 2017 10:15 am
Gopalkrishna Gandhi, gopal krishna gandhi, presidential candidate, india presidential candidate names, Opposition President candidate, India news, Indian Express Gopalkrishna Gandhi said it would not be right for him ‘to speculate’

Former administrator, diplomat and Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi Wednesday said that Opposition leaders have reached out to him with a proposal to field him as the joint Opposition candidate for the forthcoming Presidential elections. Gandhi is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. “Yes, I have been spoken to. But the conversations have been of a very preliminary nature. It would not be right for me to say anything beyond that,” Gandhi told The Indian Express.

Sources in the Opposition said a broad consensus is emerging on two names: Gandhi and that of former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar. But many Opposition parties are not keen on a Congress nominee as the presidential candidate. While Gandhi said it would not be right on his part to “speculate more”, sources said both Congress president Sonia Gandhi and CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury have spoken to him. West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is also said to be keen on Gandhi.

Also read | Who is Gopalkrishna Gandhi?

Banerjee had in 2012 proposed Gandhi for the post of Vice President but he had declined. Sources said the names of Gandhi and Kumar along with political faces like NCP’s Sharad Pawar and JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav are being discussed. Sources said the names of Gandhi and Kumar came up for discussion when Yechury met the Congress president last month.

Gandhi had held a series of meetings with senior Opposition leaders including Pawar, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Sharad Yadav and CPI’s S Sudhakar Reddy and D Raja while Yechury met fence-sitters like BJD’s Naveen Patnaik and YSRCP’s Jagan Mohan Reddy who today, interestingly, said his party would back the BJP candidate.

Reddy had a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.

Congress sources said Sonia Gandhi is expected to meet Banerjee and BSP chief Mayawati in third week of May. Senior Opposition leaders said they are no hurry to announce the candidate and would wait for the ruling party’s move. “It depends on who the opposite side is. If it is Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu, then Kumar could be a good choice,” a senior leader said. Murmu is a tribal leader from Odisha while Kumar is one of the Congress’s prominent Dalit faces from Bihar.

But everyone is aware that many Opposition parties are not keen on a Congress leader as the joint presidential candidate. The Congress has already indicated that it would not insist on a Congress name as the candidate to ensure there is no rupture in Opposition unity. Incidentally, Gandhi’s term as Governor of West Bengal was marked by confrontation with the then Left Front government on many issues, especially during the Nandigram episode.

“If the ruling alliance foists a person with an RSS background, then it would be a good choice to field Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson himself,” a senior leader said. “Now it is a battle of attrition. Whether they will declare first or we will declare first,” a senior leader said when asked when would the Opposition announce its candidate.

Meanwhile, in a setback for the opposition, Jagan Mohan Reddy declared his support to the BJP candidate. “We will support any candidate the BJP fields as we have very less difference in opinion. Except for differences on the land acquisition bill and special status for Andhra Pradesh, we share similar opinions on various issues which we think are pro-people,” Jagan said after a meeting with the Prime Minister. “Also, the BJP has enough support for its candidate to win. Opposing their candidate and fielding another will not make sense,” he said.

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  1. W
    Wilson
    May 25, 2017 at 11:19 pm
    What about Ratan Tata? Hope he can do Justice to the post and country.
    Reply
    1. S
      SubbuI
      May 11, 2017 at 10:29 pm
      LAL KISHEN ADVANI CAN BE A FAIRLY GOOD CHOICE. BUT DICTATOR MODI MAY NOT OPT FOR HIM DUE TO TRUST DEFICIT. GOPAL KRISHNA HI WILL BE OURIGHTLY REJECTED BY RSS. IF THEY PREFER A DALIT PRESEDENT THEN THERE ARE LOT OF CHOICES NO ONE BEING MEIRA KUMAR THE DAUGHTER OF BAPU JAGJEEVAN RAM.BUT WHO EVER BECOME PRESEDENT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE TO SAFFRON DICTATOR NALAYAK NMODI. WHAT HE WANTS HE WILL DO
      Reply
      1. T
        T DUTTA
        May 11, 2017 at 8:22 pm
        EMINENT JOURNALIST MJ AKBAR OR SOME EMINENT SPACE SCIENTIST
        Reply
        1. T
          T DUTTA
          May 11, 2017 at 8:20 pm
          NOBLE PRIZE WINNER SRI KAILASH IS A GOOD CANDIDATE----OTHERS ARE [1] ANNA HAZARE [2] METRO MAN E SREEDHARAN [3] LEGAL LUMINARY FOLI NARIMAN [4]
          Reply
          1. C
            Citizen
            May 11, 2017 at 6:04 pm
            In the eyes of the public many of these parties/leaders are nothing but --------??? of the nation so who so ever accepts their proposal is what????? That is why they are reduced to the lowest level and are fighting for their survival in the nation blaming others for their own fate and doing nothing to improve their position with vision and plan. Jaihind
            Reply
            1. P
              paban ghosh
              May 11, 2017 at 5:53 pm
              Manmohan Singh is the best choice as this post is all about keeping silence and watching without taking action.
              Reply
              1. S
                sriram
                May 11, 2017 at 5:10 pm
                Hope sense prevails with this man. It is very difficult to deal with so many lunatic leaders like mamta,rahul,kejri,lalu,maya,mulayam, and nitish,patnaik although they are lesser lunatics, and left leaders
                Reply
                1. V
                  vish
                  May 11, 2017 at 4:48 pm
                  Is this the same Party who had selected Zail Singh and Patil as President and now gain wants to do the same thing.Can we not follow some basic standards for this highest post .
                  Reply
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