Gopalkrishna out of presidential race, protest against meeting today

New Delhi: Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi on Monday rejected the opposition’s proposal to be a joint candidate for the upcoming presidential election, after Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and National Conference patriarch Farooq Abdullah turned down the block’s offer. Vala became the third name.

The announcement came a day before a crucial meeting of the opposition on Tuesday to choose a candidate for the July 18 presidential election, which the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition is set to win as it comes within a striking distance of a majority. is within. Electoral College consisting of members of Parliament and State Legislatures.

According to a senior leader present in the meeting, in a hurriedly organized meeting of major opposition parties on Monday, former Union minister turned Trinamool Congress leader Yashwant Sinha was discussed as a possible candidate for the opposition front. “At this stage, Sinha’s candidature received support from several opposition parties, including the Congress, the Left and the NCP,” the leader said, requesting anonymity. But opposition parties like the Left want Sinha to resign from the TMC and contest as an independent candidate as some parties and the Left want a non-party candidate. The leader said there could be another round of informal meetings at 10 am on Tuesday before the opposition meeting in the afternoon.

The office-bearers said that all opposition parties had agreed to Gandhi’s candidacy, but the former diplomat said he was grateful to be considered for the top post, feeling that the opposition’s candidate should be someone who is “a national leader”. consent” and others can do so. It’s better than that.

Gandhi said that after considering the proposal in depth, he urged the opposition leaders to give opportunity to a person who is capable of creating unity among these parties. He wrote, “India deserves a President who is fit to be succeeded by Rajaji as the last Governor General and inaugurated by Dr. Rajendra Prasad as our first President.”

“Many respected leaders of the opposition have given me the honor of considering me for the candidature of the opposition in the upcoming elections for the highest office of President. I am very grateful to them. But after considering the matter deeply, I see that the opposition candidate should be such that apart from national consensus and opposition unity, a national atmosphere should be created. I think there will be others who will do better than me. And so I have requested the leaders to give opportunity to such a person. ,

Opposition leaders said that Gandhi’s candidature had been discussed informally for more than a month, and that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as well as Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury both favored Gandhi from other parties. showed keen interest in rallying. In the meeting held on July 15 – the first meeting of the opposition party for the presidential election – Banerjee proposed the names of Gandhi and Abdulah as Pawar politely refused to contest.

According to two office-bearers, after Gopalkrishna Gandhi rejected the offer, the Congress was asked if it had a candidate, but the largest opposition party refused, and told the opposition managers that a Congress candidate wanted to support opposition unity. and will divide. Gandhi’s refusal came as a major setback to many parties as they pinned their hopes on him. Gandhi had earlier contested the Vice Presidential election in 2017 against Venkaiah Naidu but lost. Sinha, who served as the Minister of External Affairs and Finance in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, has become a bitter critic of the current government, and joined the TMC in March 2021. One reason his name is being considered is because it sends a message that all is not well within the Bharatiya Janata Party, the leader cited for the first time. A final decision on a name could be taken at a meeting of the opposition parties on Tuesday.