Presidential Election 2017: Janata Dal United leader KC Tyagi says proposing Meira Kumar’s name for Presidential candidate is due to Congress’ arrogance and obstinacy. Indicating his party’s unhappiness with Congress for pushing Kumar’s name, he said majority of the Opposition wanted someone from outside the Congress fold. He said, “Majority of the Opposition parties wanted to propose the name of someone outside of Congress. But because of Congress’ arrogance and obstinacy it was not possible.”
He added that a meeting with Opposition including the Left parties had decided on the name of Gopal Krishna Gandhi for the presidential candidate. Former Lok Sabha member, Meira Kumar’s name was proposed by Congress leader Sonia Gandhi as the Opposition’s nominee. The Opposition, all 17 political parties, unanimously proposed her name. KC Tyagi’s comments comes some days after the declaration of the Presidential candidate. Elections will be held on July 17.
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Gopalkrishna Gandhi’s name emerged as the first choice many times during the discussions held by the Opposition. He is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, a retired IAS officer and a diplomat. Meira Kumar and ex-home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde were also considered by the opposition parties. In an interaction with news agency ANI CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury said, “Our first choice for Presidential candidate is Gopal Krishna Gandhi. Otherwise Prakash Ambedkar. We’ll discuss in the opposition party meeting.”
NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind and Kumar are both Dalit leaders, lawyers by training and born in the same year – 1945. Many have said that Congress choice of candidate has been only to mar BJP’s choice of Dait leader. Kumar comes with the reputation of beeing a tall Dalit leader. In her very first General election in 1985 from Bijnore in Uttar Pradesh Kumar had defeated Dalit stalwarts like BSP supremo Mayawati and LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan, who is presently with the NDA.