In a major development with regard to Vice President election 2017, Gopalkrishna Gandhi has been picked by Congress led Opposition for the post. News agency PTI reported quoting sources that Gandhi to be opposition’s nominee for vice president. Gandhi is Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson and former West Bengal Governor. Earlier, it was reported that the Left parties are mulling to propose the candidature of Gandhi for the post of President. It was reported by PTI on Monday that he Left parties may not be averse to discussing the candidature of a contender from the Congress for the August 5 vice presidential election. PTI reported this ahead of the opposition’s meeting on Tuesday to discuss the strategy for the poll.
With the presidential poll being a ‘Dalit versus Dalit contest’, the idea of fielding a candidate from the community may not find many takers at the meeting, sources in the Left parties said, virtually ruling out such a possibility. They maintained that no names have been discussed among them “even informally” for the election for which the numbers are stacked heavily in favour of the BJP-led NDA which has 550 of the total 790 MPs. Only members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha vote in vice presidential election.
The term of vice president Hamid Ansari ends on August 10. Polling, if required, will take place on August 5 and the votes will be counted the same evening.
Ansari had secured 490 votes in the vice presidential election in 2012 against opposition’s Jaswant Singh, who had clinched 238 votes. S Radhakrishnan (1952 and 1957), Mohammad Hidyatullah (1979) and Shankar Dayal Sharma (1987) are the only ones to have been elected vice president unopposed.