Gopal Gandhi: The man who outgrew the Mahatmas shadow

Opposition presidential candidate Meira Kumar; Ram Nath Kovind the NDA candidate for President of India

Noble laureate economist Amartya Sen feels the opposition parties at the national level did not handle the Presidential election the way they should have. There was some heartburn within a section of the Opposition over the manner in which the Congress had chosen one of their own, Meira Kumar, as the presidential candidate.

Gopalkrishna Gandhi's name was endorsed by all 18 opposition parties, including the JD (U), which is backing the NDA's candidate in the presidential poll. Gopal Krishna Gandhi, who was earlier among the top contenders for the opposition's presidential candidate, could also become choice of many. The 18 Opposition parties met on Tuesday to decide on their nominee for the vice-presidential poll. "He asked for 10-15 minutes to consider (the offer) after which he was again called on the telephone and he agreed to be the candidate for Vice-President of India".

Trinamool Congress leader in Rajya Sabha Derek O'Brien proposed Gopalkrishna Gandhi's name in the meeting and it was supported by BSP's Satish Misra, Yechury and then leaders of other parties. The numbers are clearly stacked in favour of the BJP, which is yet to announce its candidate for the August 5 poll. The votes will be counted the same evening.




Here are seven things you should know about Gopalkrishna Gandhi.

Unlike his cousin, Rajmohan Gandhi, he has never contested an election, and barring a miracle, his debut will in all likelihood be on the losing side.

Gandhi is a retired IAS officer and diplomat, who served as the Governor of West Bengal during the UPA reign from 2004 to 2009. He has also been the Secretary to the Vice President from 1985 to 1987, Joint Secretary to President from 1987 to 1992, finally serving as a Secretary to President in 1997.

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