Gopalkrishna Gandhi turns down offer to be oppn prez candidate

Gopalkrishna Gandhi, a former governor of West Bengal and the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, declined the proposal from opposition parties to run as their joint candidate, in the forthcoming presidential election, on Monday.

Gandhi was on the opposition’s joint presidential candidate list, which also featured Farooq Abdullah and Sharad Pawar. Now, all three have declined the offer.

The former ambassador said in a statement that while he was appreciative of being considered for the highest office, he believed the Opposition should choose a candidate who will foster national consensus and that there were others who could accomplish this better than him.

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The former governor of Bengal made his comments in the wake of rumours that Sharad Pawar, the head of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and Farooq Abdullah, the leader of the National Conference (NC), had turned down the opportunity to be the opposition’s candidate for president.

As the election for the Rashtrapati Bhavan approached, the opposition was likely to gather on Tuesday to discuss the same.

Gopalkrishna Gandhi stated that after carefully weighing the offer, he pleaded with the Opposition to elect a candidate that would bring together and create unity among these parties.

“May India get a President worthy of the office presaged by Rajaji as the last Governor-General and inaugurated by Dr Rajendra Prasad as our first President,” he wrote.

“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,” he added.

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