Gandhi’s name was decided in a meeting after eighteen opposition parties, including the JD(U), met in the Parliament library to come up with a consensus candidate.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, party Vice President Rahul Gandhi, and a host of leaders from NCP, RJD, Left, TMC, SP, BSP, DMK and other smaller parties attended the crucial meeting.
“I accept the nomination with all the seriousness that it calls for. I applaud the unity and conviction with which the opposition parties have asked me to be their candidate for the
vice presidentship,” Gandhi told PTI.
The JD(U), which had broken ranks with the opposition over the presidential poll, also attended the meeting which chose Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson to be its nominee for Vice President.
“We have spoken to Gopalkrishna Gandhi. He has agreed to be the Opposition’s candidate for Vice President,” said Sonia Gandhi after the meet.
“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….He actually expressed his gratitude to all the leaders who met here to decide on his candidature,” Sonia Gandhi added.
Interestingly, Gandhi’s name was the only name discussed in the meeting.
Pointing out that Gopal Gandhi was the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and India’s last governor general C Rajagopalachari, Yechury said, “There can be no better candidate than Gopalkrishna Gandhi for the post of Vice President of India. We hope he will be elected unanimously.”
Left Front was keen on Gandhi as the Presidential candidate but a united Opposition (except JD(U)) picked Meira Kumar.
The Vice Presidential election is stacked heavily in NDA’s favour as it has 550 of the total 790 MPs on its side. Only members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are allowed to vote for electing the Vice President.
The election will be held as the tenure of vice president Hamid Ansari will end on August 10.
Polling, if required, will take place on August 5 and the votes will be counted on the same evening. Ansari had secured 490 votes during the last vice presidential poll held in 2012. The opposition’s candidate then, Jaswant Singh, had gained 238 votes.
(With inputs from PTI)