The opposition parties declared the name of Gopal Krishna Gandhi, a former diplomat and Governor of West Bengal as their unanimous choice as candidate for the post of Vice President of India. Only the MPs of both house of Parliament will elect the Vice President.
But Gandhi declared himself as a non-party individual. He said that he regards himself as a citizen candidate who has been asked by a large number of political parties to contest the election.
In an interview with the Hindu, Gandhi explained his choice as “They want an independent and objective voice speaking for the values of the Constitution and I think it is the sign of India’s democratic resilience.”
On the importance of this election, he said that “It is time for us to see issues in the larger perspective. We are prisoners of myopia. We have to take a larger view of the issues. It is not a matter of party politics …The ability to introspect and self-criticise seems to have been lost by all parties.”
He thinks that President, Vice-President and Governors who are not in the political race and are outside are important.
Political observers opined that given the political situation in the country, the presidential and vice president election is seen as an ideological contest between the BJP and its allies on one side and the Congress and other “secular” parties on the other.
Mentioning the election of President V.V. Giri in the seventies, Gandhi said that President Giri, by striking out on his own in his individual capacity as an independent candidate, gave the process an ideological charge and drew attention to a crucial fact which has somehow been overlooked.
He affirmed that since the election of V.V. Giri these elections become an ideological matter.
He feels that “the sovereign prerogative of the legislator-elector has not obscured. I think it is time it is excavated from our collective forgetfulness.”