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Gopal Krishna Gandhi named opposition's candidate for Vice President's election

Gopal Krishna Gandhi named opposition's candidate for Vice President's election

Gopal Krishna Gandhi named opposition's candidate for Vice President's election

"Gopalkrishna Gandhi has agreed to be the opposition's candidate for vice president", India's main opposition Congress party's chief Sonia Gandhi said after chairing a joint meet of leaders of 17 opposition parties in the national capital.

Gandhi had said the Nandigram attacks - when police fired at farmers in 2007 in the then Left-ruled state - had filled him with "cold horror", prompting the Left to describe the then governor as bipartisan.

He said the opponents of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) resorted to tactics while choosing their Presidential candidate rather than sticking to their principles while deciding the candidature.

While the Presidential Poll is scheduled for July 17, the Vice-Presidential Poll has been scheduled for August 5. For the Vice-Presidential elections, the Congress apparently communicated to other parties that it is willing to accept a nominee from outside the Congress. Gopalkrishna Gandhi's name was acceptable to Trinamool Congress too.

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The Opposition parties that came together to field Meira Kumar for President are determined to continue all efforts to maintain unity among themselves.

Married to Tara Gandhi and father of two daughters, he was earlier secretary to the Governor of Tamil Nadu, to the Vice President and to the President of India. Polling, if required, will take place on August 5 and the votes will be counted the same evening.

Between 1992 and 2003, when he retired from service, he discharged various diplomatic and other responsibilities including high commissioner of India to South Africa and Lesotho (1996), secretary to President of India (1997-2000), high commissioner of India in Sri Lanka (2000), ambassador of India to Norway, and Iceland (2002).

The parties also briefly discussed the floor strategy for the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament. MP Sharad Yadav was also present in the meeting.

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