- Opposition's struggle to find a candidate to contest upcoming President's election hit a fresh low
- After NCP chief Sharad Pawar, ex-CM of J&K Farooq Abdullah, ex-WB Guv Gopalkrishna Gandhi said 'no'
- Opposition parties will meet tomorrow afternoon to finalise a joint candidate for polls
The Opposition's struggle to find a candidate to contest the upcoming President's election hit a fresh low on Monday after former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi turned down the offer. This is the third leader that said 'no' to being the face of the presidential polls. Leaders of Opposition parties will meet in New Delhi on Tuesday afternoon to finalise a joint nominee.
The Opposition's first choice was Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar. The senior leader on Wednesday, in a meeting with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, rejected the request. "I am happy to continue my service for the well-being of the common man," the NCP supremo wrote on Twitter.
In the meeting, TMC supremo Banerjee had proposed the name of former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah.
Abdullah too, said he 'respectfully withdraws name from consideration'. He said that J&K needs him more. Dr. Abdullah said he had a lot more active politics ahead of him and look forward to making a positive contribution in the service of J&K and the country.
He however said, " I look forward to supporting the joint opposition consensus candidate."
After Pawar and Abdullah, now, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who 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, turned down the offer.
"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.
The next meeting of major opposition parties to deliberate on a consensus candidate for the presidential election is likely to be held on Tuesday in New Delhi.
As many as 17 opposition parties had attended the opposition meeting to build a consensus on fielding a joint candidate against the BJP-led NDA.
The process to elect a new President began on June 15. The last date for filing nominations is June 29. The polls, if necessary, will be held on July 18 and the counting on July 21.