After Sharad Pawar

After Sharad Pawar: The former West Bengal Governor’s announcement comes a day ahead of the Opposition’s second round of discussions on June 21 to finalize a consensus candidate

Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi on Monday became the third person to decline the Opposition parties’ request to be their Presidential candidate.

Earlier, Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah had declined to be the Opposition’s joint candidate for the Presidential election set to be held on July 18.

Opposition huddles after Gopalkrishna Gandhi bows out of Presidential race

In a statement issued Monday, Gandhi said: “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 allow such a person.”

“And so I have requested the leaders to allow such a person. May India gets a President worthy of the office presaged by Rajaji as the last Governor-General and inaugurated by Dr. Rajendra Prasad as our first President,” added the former diplomat, who is also the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.

After Sharad Pawar, Farooq Abdullah turns down the offer to be the Opposition’s presidential candidate

Gandhi’s announcement comes a day ahead of the Opposition’s second round of discussions on June 21 to finalize a consensus candidate.

Even in 2017, the Opposition camp had wanted to field Gandhi as its Presidential candidate, but the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) decision to pick Ram Nath Kovind as its face had forced a rethink. Eventually, the Opposition fielded former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar, also a Dalit like Kovind.

The 77-year-old former bureaucrat is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and C Rajagopalachari and his name was suggested as a presidential candidate for an opposition party

President polls: After Pawar and Abdullah, Gopalkrishna Gandhi says no to candidacy

Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi on Monday, June 20, declined the opposition leaders’ request to contest the upcoming presidential election, the third person to do so after NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah also gave the offer a pass. The development complicates the road ahead for the Opposition to put up a joint consensus candidate in the presidential polls to take on the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance nominee.

The next meeting of major opposition parties to deliberate on a consensus candidate for the presidential election is likely to be held on Tuesday. In a statement, Gandhi said several esteemed leaders of the Opposition have done him the honor of thinking of him for the opposition’s candidature in the upcoming elections for the presidency.

Presidential election 2022: After Sharad Pawar, Farooq Abdullah says NO to being an opposition candidate

“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 besides Opposition unity. I feel there will be others who will do this far better than I,” he said.

“And so I have requested the leaders to allow such a person. May India gets a President worthy of the office presaged by Rajaji as the last Governor-General and inaugurated by Dr. Rajendra Prasad as our first President,” Gandhi said.

The 77-year-old former bureaucrat had also served as India’s High Commissioner to South Africa and Sri Lanka. He is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and C Rajagopalachari. Gandhi was the consensus opposition candidate for the post of Vice President of India in 2017 but had lost to M Venkaiah Naidu in the election.

From Valley to Delhi, govt to Opposition, Farooq Abdullah a leader for all seasons

Gandhi’s statement came two days after former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference leader Abdullah withdrew his name as the potential joint opposition candidate for the upcoming presidential elections, saying he has a “lot more active politics” ahead of him, and that he wanted to contribute in navigating the Union Territory through the current “critical juncture”.

Leaders of several opposition parties last Wednesday urged NCP supremo Sharad Pawar to be the joint opposition candidate for the presidential elections, but the veteran leader had declined the offer at the meeting convened by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here. After Pawar had declined the offer, Banerjee later suggested the names of Abdullah and Gandhi as possible opposition candidates.

As many as 17 opposition parties had attended the opposition meeting to build a consensus on fielding a joint candidate against the BJP-led NDA. The process to elect a new president began on June 15. The last date for filing nominations is June 29. The polls, if necessary, will be held on July 18, and the counting on July 21.

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