Congress’ vice-presidential Gopalkrishna Gandhi on Monday defended himself on opposing the death sentence of Yakub Memon, who was convicted for involvement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts. Gopal Krishna Gandhi, responding to a question earlier raised by Shiv Sena, said that even Mahatma Gandhi was against capital punishment, ABP news reported. Gandhi further said that he is an ordinary citizen who is not associated with any party and his views should be taken as personal. “Not here to oppose any person or party, here with all humility to place before electors, the aspirations of citizens,” Gandhi said. “I am an ordinary citizen, and I am not associated with any party. My views are my own,” he added. He further said that he wishes to lessen the void between people and politics. “Janta aur rajneeti ke beech ek khaai bani huyi hai, main use kam karna chahta hoon(There is a gap between people and politics, I want to lessen it),” Gandhi said after filing his nomination for the vice-presidential post.
Earlier, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had questioned opposition parties for fielding Gopalkrishna Gandhi for the vice-presidential election. Raut had said that Gandhi had been opposed to the death sentence of 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts convict Yakub Memon. Raut added that Gandhi was one of the people who had made appeals to the government to save Memon. “Gandhi had used all his powers to save Yakub Memon. He even had written to the President. I want to ask (opposition) what kind of mindset is this,” he told reporters. In July 2015, Gandhi had written to President Pranab Mukherjee to reconsider the rejection of mercy plea against Memon’s death sentence. Earlier in the day, Venkaiah Naidu, Bharatiya Janata Party’s vice-presidential candidate, too filed his nomination for the post of vice president.