Presidential Election 2017: Secretary General of the Communist Party of India (CPI-M), Sitaram Yechury today announced their first choice for the next President. In an interaction with news agency ANI he said, “Our first choice for Presidential candidate is Gopal Krishna Gandhi. Otherwise Prakash Ambedkar. We’ll discuss in the opposition party meeting.” While Gopal Krishna Gandhi, who is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi is a retired IAS officer and diplomat, Prakash Ambedkar is a Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh party leader who was a member of the 13th Lok Sabha and is also the grandson of Dr B R Ambedkar.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government earlier in the week announced BJP’s Ram Nath Kovind as their Presidential candidate. Janata Dal (United) on Wednesday extended their support to NDA’s choice and their action was later hailed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) senior leader Venkaiah Naidu. The divided opposition led by Congress is yet to decide as to who will contest against NDA nominee former Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind. JD(U) led by Nitish Kumar and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s BJD had announced that they were backing Kovind for head of state.
BJP’s surprise pick has left the Opposition clueless as BSP chief Mayawati had said that she would have to back Kovind if the Opposition did not field a Dalit candidate. Ahead of a crucial meeting on Thursay, Prakash Ambedkar, the 63-year-old grandson of B R Ambedkar, who is a former Lok Sabha member from Akola in Maharashtra, has emerged as the top pick of Left parties, according to PTI report. Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is currently visiting The Netherlands, has spoken to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and has conveyed to her that she would back Meira Kumar’s candidature, according to an Indian Express report.