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.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App now

  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
                  1. S
                    Sujatha Selvam
                    May 11, 2017 at 4:00 pm
                    “We will support any candidate the BJP fields as we have very less difference in opinion." Jagan, your father's soul will haunt you, curse you. Shame on you and how opportunistic you are, just to save your face from various court cases, you made a deal with Narendra Modi. What is irony is the so called champion of anti-corruption, Narendra Modi, is now giving refuge to a Champion of Corruption, Jagan Reddy.
                    Reply
                    1. M
                      Mohmed
                      May 11, 2017 at 1:58 pm
                      Who reads this third rate Congress mouthpiece?I read TOI a world cl newspaper.
                      Reply
                      1. E
                        Editor
                        May 11, 2017 at 1:57 pm
                        editor son of a pros ute of Motilal Nehru. bhadwa you may not publish a comment because the newspaper is licking corrupt mafia Sonia's but how can you change my comment bhadwa .?
                        Reply
                        1. M
                          Mohmed
                          May 11, 2017 at 1:54 pm
                          Sonia hi should be selected as the opposition candidate as President.
                          Reply
                          1. M
                            Mohmed
                            May 11, 2017 at 1:50 pm
                            He is a chamcha of the Congress and g son of the Mahatma who slept with other women to test his celibacy.
                            Reply
                            1. P
                              Pk Bajpai
                              May 11, 2017 at 1:42 pm
                              Gopal Krishna hi is most appropriate candidate for Presidentship. P. K. Bajpai
                              Reply
                              1. M
                                Mohmed
                                May 11, 2017 at 2:03 pm
                                Yes he can also sleep with other women and become a Mahatmalike his g fathr.
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  Sujatha Selvam
                                  May 11, 2017 at 4:12 pm
                                  I wish if I have your real ID, I would have make sure that you are behind bar for life. You are a real curse on this planet. Even if the law failed to punish you, surely you will be get punished by God one day. The government should first get rid of monster like you. I will request the Editor of Indian Express to note down your IP address and other available details and forward to the concerned department for taking severe action against you.
                                  1. G
                                    GG
                                    May 12, 2017 at 8:20 pm
                                    Why so angry Sujatha? Most of India are not Congress cultists like you. You are the one who deserves to be behind bars along with the corrupt thieves you support.
                                2. R
                                  Ram
                                  May 11, 2017 at 12:51 pm
                                  opposition opportunists just to be in news cycle are doing this drama fully knowing that BJP candidate will win hands down with support of just one more party like TRS, ADMK or Jagans party. In fact all of them may support BJP candidate. Corrupt Meira Kumar who still has to vacate government house or Gopalkrishna hi, a tired old name make no sense. Is Mr. Gopalkrishna hi want to be used by the corrupt, casteist, communal opposition (including communists who opposed him in past as governor as well as to President/VP positions) just to serve their opportunistic politics? All these decades only Nehruvians (Except Dr. Abdul Kalam) used to occupy president position, now onward it is the turn of nationalists who consider great Indian nationalists like Gokhle,Tilak,Patel,Bose etc. as their inspiration, not hi-Nehrus who have monopolised w political space at the cost of others.
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    satish
                                    May 11, 2017 at 12:27 pm
                                    One fake hi will always recommend another fake hi for top post and it is natural!
                                    Reply
                                    1. M
                                      manian
                                      May 11, 2017 at 12:23 pm
                                      Do we really need a president, without any real power.with a fat purse to maintain that big bhavan & foreign tours? Why this obsession with a cosmetic position? Many countries in the world get along very well with a PM & his cabinet.Why don't we make necessary changes in the cons ution to abolish all these decorative posts ,that really do not fit into a democratic setup?
                                      Reply
                                      1. S
                                        Sujatha Selvam
                                        May 11, 2017 at 4:26 pm
                                        Do we need Central ministers either? When Shri Narendra Modi can solve every problem of the people single handedly (that is what exactly he is doing now, without giving any power to the minister or MPs), what is the need of ministers. See Arun Jaitley, Modiji's trusted right handman, has three important portfolios, Defence, Finance and Corporate Affairs!
                                        Reply
                                      2. B
                                        Bharat
                                        May 11, 2017 at 11:22 am
                                        The president has to lead the Armed Forces so it has to be someone like APJ Kalam a senior Defence DRDO or a Senior Fireb Security head like Doval. It's time chaiwala decided on something of high potential rather than a puppet. Kiran Bedi is a good b ambassador. We could also choose someone known for his grassroot level work like Anna Hazare. Lt. Gen Sinha also comes to mind as a strong defence background and a man of steel. President should be able to carry the load of the joint houses and the armed forces at the same time the supreme court too. As the ins utional prestigious head of the nation the exercise should not be reduced to Installation a puppet like the last cook lady of IG. Or last time we saw chaiwala bring a TV serial 3rd grade uneducated artiste to head the HRD education ministry. This was the sone pe hagga Instance when she summoned the VC s of all universities i.e. the top education cream of the nation (Sona) and this swine shat (hagga) on them.
                                        Reply
                                        1. R
                                          Rahul
                                          May 11, 2017 at 10:53 am
                                          Mahatma hi did not want any position after India got independence but his g son wants to become President!!
                                          Reply
                                          1. T
                                            T DUTTA
                                            May 11, 2017 at 9:55 am
                                            MR MJ AKBAR [2] MR ARNAB GOSWAMY [3] SHEKAR GUPTA [4]
                                            Reply
                                            1. T
                                              T DUTTA
                                              May 11, 2017 at 9:49 am
                                              AMITABH BACHHAN
                                              Reply
                                              1. Load More Comments