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Blow to Indian opposition as Gandhi’s grandson bows out of presidential race

Gopalkrishna Gandhi speaks to the media. Picture The Hindu

NEW DELHI: The grandson of India’s independence chief Mahatma Gandhi has dropped out of the race to turn into president after his identify was proposed by an alliance of opposition events.

Gopalkrishna Gandhi, 77, a diplomat turned politician stated he had declined the request of the 17-party alliance to be their nominee for the largely ceremonial position.

“I’m most grateful to them. However having thought of the matter deeply I see that the Opposition’s candidate must be one who will generate a nationwide consensus and a nationwide ambiance beside Opposition unity,” Gandhi stated in a press release on Monday.

Nationwide and state lawmakers are slated to vote on a brand new president on July 18.

The Indian head of state enjoys sure constitutional powers however largely acts on the recommendation of the federal government, making it extra of a titular place.

However agreeing on a candidate and getting her or him elected can be a symbolic victory for India’s splintered opposition after eight years of rule by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Occasion (BJP).

The BJP is more likely to announce its personal candidate this week and will once more put ahead the incumbent, Ram Nath Kovind, a member of India’s marginalised Dalit group, to serve one other time period.

Gandhi, who was governor of West Bengal state between 2004 and 2009 after being appointed by the then-ruling Congress occasion, ran for vice-president in 2017 however misplaced out to a BJP candidate.

The paternal grandson of India’s freedom motion icon is taken into account a vocal critic of Modi’s Hindu nationalist insurance policies and has accused the federal government of crushing dissent on the planet’s largest democracy.

Gandhi is the third individual to say no a proposal by the opposition to be their candidate.

The Gandhi dynasty of assassinated former prime ministers Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, and of present opposition determine Rahul Gandhi, are descended from India’s first premier Jawaharlal Nehru and never from Mahatma Gandhi.

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