Opposition Vice Presidential candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi today tried to clear the air even as the Shiv Sena accused him of trying to save 1993 Bombay blasts accused Yakub Memon from the gallows. Gandhi today invoked his right to expression as a private citizen and claimed that he did not belong to any party. He also said that he was against the death penalty and that he was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, his grandfather, and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.
Gandhi today filed the nomination for the Vice Presidential elections after consensus failed to emerge on his candidature for the Presidential elections. He was accompanied by former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, as well as the JD (U)’s Sharad Yadav, the CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, the CPI’s D Raja, NCP’s Tariq Anwar and Praful Patel, as well as NC’s Farooq Abdullah and DMK’s Kanimozhi.
Speaking to reporters later, Gandhi said,”I am an ordinary citizen and I have been selected for this post by the Opposition to represent the common people. I am not associated with any party. My views are my own.”
He went on to state,”In our country, we are living in times of division. A whole force which is dividing our country is in action (sic) mode and that spells danger. People’s faith in politics itself has diminished and has collapsed. I would like to see a revival of that faith.” He said that he intends to support the interests of the common man while emphasizing that he did not belong to any political party.
Replies To The Shiv Sena
Gandhi also seemed to answer the Shiv Sena after it accused him of trying to prevent Yakub Memon’s hanging. When asked about the issue, he said,”My views (are) inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Ambedkar. I had also written to Pakistan Prime Minister, (and) Narendra Modi demanding that he should not hang Kulbhushan Jadhav.”
More specifically, he referred to the Sena as well, saying, “Shiv Sena is doing its duty with dedication. What Shiv Sena has said, it had to. I feel that the death penalty and capital punishment belong to the medieval ages. (The) Death penalty is wrong and this is my principle.”
India’s vice presidential polls are scheduled for August 5. A total of 18 opposition parties is supporting Gopalkrishna Gandhi. The Vice President is also the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha. The incumbent VP Hamid Ansari’s term ends August 10.