Presidential poll: Oppn mulls Yashwant Sinha after Gopalkrishna Gandhi opts out

"I am most grateful to them. But 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," he said.

Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi on Monday (June 20) declined the Opposition leaders’ request to contest the upcoming presidential election and said the candidate for the polls should be one who will generate a national consensus and ensure opposition unity.

The non-BJP parties are now mulling former union minister Yashwant Sinha as a possible joint candidate for the upcoming Presidential election, a senior Trinamool Congress leader said on Monday.

The name of the former BJP leader, who joined the TMC last year, has been proposed as a Presidential poll candidate by a few opposition parties and three to four have seconded it, he said. West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee received such phone calls and she is also pitching for Sinha as the joint opposition nominee, he said.

In a statement, Gopalkrishna 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.

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“I am most grateful to them. But 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,” he said.

“And so I have requested the leaders to give the opportunity to such a person. 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,” Gandhi said.

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The 77-year-old former bureaucrat had also served as India’s High Commissioner to South Africa and Sri Lanka. He is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and C Rajagopalachari.

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