Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi is the Opposition candidate for the vice-presidential election, Congress president Sonia Gandhi announced on Tuesday.
Eighteen parties decided on Gandhi as their vice presidential candidate, Sonia said.
Born on 22 April, 1945 to MK Gandhi's son Devdas Gandhi and C Rajagopalachari's daughter Lakshmi, Gopalkrishna served as an IAS officer from 1968 to 1992, when he voluntarily retired. He was the secretary to the vice-president from 1985 to 1987, joint secretary to president from 1987 to 1992 and secretary to president in 1997. He also served as the governor of West Bengal from 2004 to 2009.
His name was initially suggested by the Left parties’ for the Presidential candidate last month but finally Meira Kumar became the unanimous Opposition nominee.
Sources said that only Gandhi’s name was discussed as 18 parties, including Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) met to decide on a nominee.
"We have spoken to Gopalkrishna Gandhi. He has agreed to be the Opposition’s candidate,” said Sonia Gandhi.
Eighteen Opposition parties on Tuesday met to discuss the upcoming vice-presidential election, with Sharad Yadav of the JD(U) which had broken ranks with them over the presidential poll, also in attendance.
Hamid Ansari has been the Vice President and 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. The BJP-led NDA is yet to nominate its candidate.