Presidential Poll: Gopalkrishna Gandhi is Opposition candidate

New Delhi Gopalkrishna Gandhi to be the Opposition’s nominee for vice president says news agency PTI

Gopalkrishna Gandhi, former West Bengal Governor and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, was named the unanimous candidate. Unlike in the case of the presidential elections, the opposition appears to have made a decision to go ahead and announce its candidate thereby putting the onus on the government to come up with a suitable candidate to match Gopalkrishna Gandhi's stature. The opposition parties also, unanimously, condemned the attack on the pilgrims, only the second such attack to have taken place after 2000.

“He asked for 10-15 minutes to consider (the offer) after which he was again called on the telephone and he agreed to be the candidate for Vice President of India.

According to sources, the meeting by the 17 opposition parties in Delhi today, Gopalkrishna Gandhi's name was the only one discussed for the candidature.

His election will be interesting as the Janata Dal (United), which is backing NDA's candidate for President Ram Nath Kovind, will now support the opposition candidate for the Vice President's post. The NDA led by the BJP will be naming its candidate by July 13. "There can be no better candidate than Gopalkrishna Gandhi for the post of Vice President of India". After joining IAS, he served in Tamil Nadu till the mid-eighties. Votes will be counted the same evening.

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Gopalkrishna Gandhi was the Left parties' choice for the Presidential polls too. "He wanted to ensure that all parties have endorsed him name and he was graceful to have accepted our request", O'Brien said. He is the brother of noted writer Rajmohan Gandhi.

Between 1992 and 2003, when he retired from service, he discharged various diplomatic and other responsibilities including high commissioner of India to South Africa and Lesotho (1996), secretary to President of India (1997-2000), high commissioner of India in Sri Lanka (2000), ambassador of India to Norway, and Iceland (2002).

Between 2004 and 2009 Gandhi also served as the governor of West Bengal.

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