New Delhi: Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the former governor of West Bengal, has turned down the opposition parties’ request to become the candidate in the upcoming presidential election to be held next month.
Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah have already withdrawn their names as probable opposition nominees. The 77-year-old has now become the third candidate who rejected the offer as a candidate of opposition.
In a statement, Mr Gandhi said several esteemed leaders of the Opposition have done him the honour of thinking of him for the opposition’s candidature in the upcoming elections for the presidency.
“Having considered the matter deeply, I see that the opposition’s candidate should be one who will generate a national consensus and a national atmosphere besides opposition unity.” “I feel there will be others who will do this far better than I,” Mr Gandhi said.
Mr Gandhi’s statement comes before the opposition meetings in Mumba to discuss their joint candidate for the presidential polls. Mamata Banerjee had suggested his name.
The 77-year-old former bureaucrat had worked as India’s High Commissioner to South Africa and Sri Lanka.
The process of presidential polls will get underway on June 15. The last date for the filing of nominations is June 29. The polls, if essential, will take place on July 18, while the counting will take place on July 21.