Opposition names Gopal Gandhi VP candidate

Keen to avoid the delay that was seen to be a factor in dividing the opposition over the presidential poll, the opposition named former Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi -the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi -as its candidate for vice-president, with JD (U) also approving the choice.

JD(U)'s approval was important as the party backed Gandhi despite mounting troubles with partner RJD and its chief Lalu Prasad over corruption charges and probes into Lalu and his family members. In the case of the presidential poll, delay in finalising a candidate was seen to have led to JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar endorsing NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind, who as Bihar governor enjoyed a good rapport with the Bihar chief minister. JD(U) and some other opposition parties later blamed Congress for delaying a decision on the nominee for President.

A retired IAS officer and diplomat, Gandhi is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and C Rajagopalachari, the last governor general of India. His name was discussed as the opposition candidate for President too before former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar was chosen to counter Kovind's Dalit credentials.

No comments: