The Congress and 17 other opposition parties on Tuesday named former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi as their vice presidential candidate. A retired officer of the Indian Administrative Service and a diplomat, he is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.
Gandhi was the only name, discussed when 18 Opposition parties met to decide on their candidate for the vice-presidential poll.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi made the announcement at the end of a meeting
The Janata Dal (United), which broke ranks with the rest of the Opposition on the selection of a joint candidate for the presidental poll, attended the meeting and endorsed Mr. Gandhi’s name.
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’ Brien proposed Mr. Gandhi’s name, which was thereafter unanimously accepted.
After that, Congress’s Ghulam Nabi Azad, CPI (M)’s Sitaram Yechury and Mr O’ Brien called up Mr. Gandhi, who was earlier sounded on standing as the Opposition candidate for Vice President.
Once he was assured that all the political parties which attended Tuesday’s meeting agreed to support his nomination, Mr O’ Brien said, Mr. Gandhi gave his assent.
Other leaders at the meeting included Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, TMC’s Derek O’ Brien, CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, NC’s Omar Abdullah, SP’s Naresh Agarwal and BSP’s Satish Chandra Mishra.
Hamid Ansari has been the Vice President and ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha since August 11, 2007. He won a second term on August 11, 2012. His current term ends on August 10. Polling for the vice-president’s post will take place on August 5 if required. The votes will be counted the same evening.