Gopalkrishna Gandhi declines Oppn request to contest Prez polls

Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi on Monday 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.

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.

“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 had also served as India’s High Commissioner to South Africa and Sri Lanka. He is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and C Rajagopalachari.