Former West Bengal Governor and the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Gopal Krishna Gandhi, is the Opposition’s pick for the post of vice president, ANI reported. He was nominated unanimously by the members of 18 Opposition parties.
Gandhi’s name was the only one discussed during the meeting for the post, PTI reported quoting unidentified officials. The meeting to select the candidate was held in Delhi and was chaired by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
“Gopal Krishna Gandhi has agreed to be the Opposition’s candidate for Vice President,” Sonia Gandhi said.
The Janata Dal (United) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had decided to skip the meeting, however, senior party leader Sharad Yadav was present at the meeting. The rift between Lalu Prasad Yadav and the Bihar chief minister came to fore after Kumar backed the National Democratic Alliance’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, over Meira Kumar, who was the Opposition’s pick.
The vice presidential elections will be held on August 5. Incumbent Hamid Ansari’s tenure will end on August 10. Ansari has held the post for two consecutive terms. The nominations can be submitted by July 18, and the scrutiny of nominations will take place on July 19. The last date for the withdrawal of candidates is July 21. The Election Commission has appointed Rajya Sabha Secretary General Shamsher Sharif the returning officer for the polls.
The candidate for the vice presidential elections requires 20 MPs as proposers and 20 MPs seconders. The National Democratic Alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party has 338 members in the 545-member Lok Sabha. In the Rajya Sabha, the BJP has 56 members out of 243, while the Congress, with 59 members, is the single largest party.