The opposition parties on Tuesday selected former West Bengal governor and Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi as the opposition candidate for the vice-presidential election.

The meeting which was held in Parliament’s Library building was attended by leaders from 18 opposition parties including the JD(U). Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah along with other prominent leaders were present in the meeting chaired by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar skipped the meeting. JD(U) was represented by Sharad Yadav.   

The meeting began by observing two-minute silence to pay respect to seven Amarnath Yatra pilgrims killed in Monday’s terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

After the meeting Congress chief Sonia Gandhi said, “We have spoken to Gopalkrishna Gandhi. He has agreed to be the Opposition’s candidate.”

According to reports, Gandhi’s was the only name to be discussed in the meeting.  

His name was initially discussed for the Presidential candidate last month but finally Meira Kumar became the unanimous Opposition nominee.

The announcement was made days before the last date for filing nomination for the vice-presidential election on July 18. The move aims to keep the Opposition united unlike during the nomination of Presidential candidate when Nitish Kumar had supported the NDA candidate citing delay in selection of opposition candidate as the reason.