Nitish cornered: opposition chooses his nominee for VP election
New Delhi: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar who was provided an escape route last month by not choosing a nominee of his choice for the presidential election was left with no such freedom on Tuesday when the non-BJP opposition met and decided the pick for the vice-presidential election.
Gopalkrishna Gandhi , former West Bengal governor and grandson of father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi , whom he had favoured for the presidential post has been selected as a candidate for the vice-presidential election.
He has not given his re-action yet on the new development but it will be difficult for him to wriggle out this time. Willy-nilly he may go with the opposition. Indication at present is that he will not disappoint it.
There is already an evidence of change in his thinking. In the previous opposition meeting he was conspicuous by his absence. No party representative was sent either. He was not present at the day's meeting here too but a senior party leader Sharad Yadav was there in addition to representatives of Trinamool Congress. the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party. Rahul Gadhi who was away when the last meeting was held was very much present along with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Nitish's absence on Tuesday is understandable. He had called a meeting of party men in Patna and he had to be present because an important issue--- whether or not to sack his deputy , Tejaswi Yadav ,who was facing corruption charges-- was on the agenda.
His excuse for not siding with the opposition in presidential election to be held next Monday was that the Congress took much time in deciding the nominee. The rival BJP had taken a lead and he had made commitment to back its nominee before the opposition candidate was announced.
Nitish had claimed that he had given his nod to the left parties' proposal to field Gopalkrishna at the birthday party of the DMK founder M Karunanidhi at Chennai where most of top opposition leaders were present.
The Congress had not reacted immediately and supported its own party member and former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar much later. She had the backing of other 16 parties who have grouped to defeat the BJP.
Nitish was persuaded to vote for her but he refused because of his prior commitment to Ram Nath Kovind who has served as a governor of his state before filing his papers for the presidential election.
This time he has not been left with an exit route.