Highlights

  • Gopalkrishna Gandhi declines Presidential candidacy
  • The former West Bengal governor thanked the Opposition for considering him
  • Previously, Sharad Pawar and Farooq Abdullah declined to run for Presidential elections

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Presidential polls: After Pawar and Abdullah, Gopalkrishna Gandhi declines Opposition offer

In a statement 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

Former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi on Monday declined the Opposition's offer to contest the upcoming Presidential elections. The grandson of Mahatma Gandhi refused the candidacy saying that the position should be offered to someone who is able to create a sense of unity among the Opposition and also generate a national consensus.

In a statement Gandhi said, 'several esteemed leaders of the Opposition have done me the honour of thinking of me for the opposition's candidature in the upcoming elections for the presidency.'

'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. The 77-year-old former bureaucrat has also served as India's High Commissioner to South Africa and Sri Lanka.

Previously, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah were offered the presidential candidacy. However, they both refused the offer.

On June 13, Opposition leaders held a meeting in Delhi that was convened by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Addressing the press after the meet, Banerjee said that the Opposition is yet to come to a consensus over the Presidential candidate.

Presidential elections are slated to be held on July 18.

(with PTI inputs)

Also Watch| Opposition loses another prospective Presidential candidate as Farooq Abdullah refuses offer

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