Updated: July 18, 2017 3:55:32 pm
Opposition vice presidential candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi justified his efforts to save Yakub Memon, a convict in the Mumbai blast case from the gallows. He said that the practice of capital punishment was medieval and wrong. Gandhi faced criticism from the ruling party but said that he takes Mahatma Gandhi and Babasaheb Ambedkar as his inspiration and they were against death penalty and wanted to abolish it.
In the presence of former prime minister Manmohan Singh and top Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul, Gopalkrishna Gandhi on Tuesday, filed his nomination papers. JD (U)’s Sharad Yadav, CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja, NCP’s Tariq Anwar and Praful Patel, NC’s Farooq Abdullah and DMK’s Kanimozhi were also present.
After filing his nomination papers, Gandhi said, “In our country, we are living in times of division. A whole force which is dividing our country is in action mode and that spells danger.” He said that he supports common people of the country and not any political party and that he would try to bridge the gulf between the public and politics.
“People’s faith in politics itself has diminished and has collapsed. I would like to see a revival of that faith,” he said. Responding to the Shiv Sena’s attack on him for petitioning the president to save Memon, Gandhi said, “Shiv Sena is doing its duty with dedication. What Shiv Sena has said, it had to. I feel that the death penalty and capital punishment belong to the medieval ages. Death penalty is wrong and this is my principle.”
He also spoke about Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is facing death sentence in Pakistan and said, “As a common, independent citizen, it is my duty to fulfil my principles. I believe in that. I have drawn inspiration on death penalty from two persons – Mahatma Gandhi who was opposed it and Babasaheb Ambedkar, who said it is only proper abolish it”.
The vice presidential election is scheduled to be held on August 5. Gandhi will contest against the NDA’s candidate M Venkaiah Naidu.
(With PTI inputs)
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