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Cracks in Opposition over Prez race: All 3 choices opt out, Mamata may also skip meet

In another crucial development, Mamata Banerjee who convened the opposition meet on June 21 herself may not be available for the meet.

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Gopal Krishna Gandhi - Prez race
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New Delhi: In a major blow to the Opposition unity, all three proposed faces of have bowed out from the Presidential race. Former West Bengal governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi on Monday turned down Opposition parties’ request to become its Presidential candidate.

The 77-year old is the third person to have withdrawn its name as probable Presidential candidate of the Opposition. Prior to him, National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Sharad Pawar have declined the offer to represent Opposition in the Prez race.

Farooq Abdullah

In another crucial development, Mamata Banerjee who convened the opposition meet on June 21 herself may not be available for the meet. It was Mamata Banerjee who proposed the name of Farooq Abdullah & Gopal Gandhi, however, their never gave their nod for this.

Announcing his decision, Gopal Gandhi said that Presidential candidate must evoke national consensus.

“I feel there will be others who will do this far better than I. And so I have requested the leaders to give the opportunity to such a person,” he said.

Mamata Banerjee had first ruffled the feathers of Congress as her ‘kingmaker’ role was bound to attract scorn from the grand old party as the latter won’t accept secondary role for itself. Congress, beset by its own problems, hasn’t proposed any candidate but agreed that Opposition should stay united. On the Mamata’s stature has got emboldened after her party gave BJP a bloody nose in the Bengal Assembly elections.

Mamata Banerjee

The Opposition parties are set to meet in Mumbai tomorrow to discuss joint candidate for President and also chart out its strategy for elections, scheduled in July.

While the Presidential Election will be held on July 18, the counting of votes, if necessary, will take place on July 21.

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