Gopal Krishna Gandhi named opposition's candidate for Vice President's election

Gopal Krishna Gandhi named opposition's candidate for Vice President's election

Gopal Krishna Gandhi named opposition's candidate for Vice President's election

Mr Gandhi's name was selected during the meeting of 18 opposition parties which met to decide on their candidate for the vice presidential polls. The announcement of Meira Kumar's name as the opposition pick for presidential candidate was thus seen as a counter to NDA's pick of Ram Nath Kovind, as both belong to Dalit community. Originally a top contender for the country's top constitutional post, the President of India, Gandhi emerged as the consensus candidate for the post of VP during Tuesday's opposition parties' meeting in Parliament.

Gandhi had said the Nandigram attacks - when police fired at farmers in 2007 in the then Left-ruled state - had filled him with "cold horror", prompting the Left to describe the then governor as bipartisan. The opposition parties also, unanimously, condemned the attack on the pilgrims, only the second such attack to have taken place after 2000.

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Informally, opposition leaders had been discussing possible candidates for the last few days and had agreed to put a final seal of approval on Gopal Gandhi's candidature at the meeting convened by the Congress President. The numbers are clearly stacked in favour of the BJP, which is yet to announce its candidate for the August 5 poll. Soon after, he called back and conveyed his acceptance of the opposition leaders's decision and thanked them. Gandhi also served as Ambassador of India in Iceland. Votes will be counted the same evening.

Unlike his cousin, Rajmohan Gandhi, he has never contested an election, and barring a miracle, his debut will in all likelihood be on the losing side. As a former IAS officer and he served as Secretary to the President of India and as High Commissioner to South Africa and Sri Lanka, among other administrative and diplomatic posts.

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