Gopalkrishna Gandhi, former West Bengal governor and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, on Monday, 20 June, declined the Opposition parties’ appeal to become their joint candidate for the upcoming presidential elections.
The former diplomat issued a statement expressing gratitude for being considered for the highest public office in India but added that the Opposition’s candidate should be someone who would “generate a national consensus” and that others might do a better job than him, as per PTI.
He also urged the Opposition to look for a candidate capable of uniting the parties.
'Most Grateful...', Says Gandhi
Gandhi said, "Several esteemed leaders of the Opposition have done me the honour of thinking of me for the Opposition's candidature in the upcoming elections for the highest office of Rashtrapati. 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 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 give the opportunity to such a person.”
Gandhi’s name was suggested by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, reported NDTV.
All Three Choices Reject Opposition's Offer
Gandhi’s statement comes after reports of other leaders also declining the Opposition’s offer to be its choice for the presidential elections.
Opposition parties are likely to meet on Tuesday, 21 June, to take a call on their presidential candidate.
The presidential polls will be held on 18 July and the counting of votes will take place on 21 July.
(With inputs from NDTV and PTI.)