CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has confirmed that he had spoken to former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi and sought his consent for being the presidential candidate on behalf of the unified Opposition.
Addressing a press conference here on Thursday after the party’s State committee meeting, Mr. Yechury said the Opposition parties were yet to arrive at a consensus on the presidential candidate, and were waiting for the ruling party to take the first step. Mr. Gandhi, however, had expressed his willingness to be the candidate provided there was a consensus. “Presidential elections are very crucial, as the President’s role is paramount for secular supervision of the Constitution. Our intention is for the candidate to be jointly sponsored by all the Opposition parties,” Mr. Yechury said.
“The ruling party usually announces the candidate first and tries to build a consensus for unanimous election. There is no such effort by the BJP. We have a doubt that it could result in communal supervision of the Constitution,” Mr. Yechury said.
Gopalkrishna Devdas Gandhi (born April 22, 1946) is an (retired) IAS and diplomat, who was the 22nd Governor of West Bengal serving from 2004 to 2009. As a former IAS officer and he served as Secretary to the President of India and as High Commissioner to South Africa and Sri Lanka, among other administrative and diplomatic posts.
His paternal grandfather was Mahatma Gandhi and maternal grandfather was C. Rajagopalachari (Rajaji). He is the son of Devadas Gandhi and Lakshmi Gandhi. Gopalkrishna Gandhi is the younger brother of Rajmohan Gandhi, and the late Ramchandra Gandhi, and Smt. Tara Bhattacharjee (Gandhi), all of whom are distinguished in their own right.
Gandhi graduated with a master’s degree in English literature from St. Stephen’s College of Delhi University.