Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi on June 20 declined to be the Opposition's Presidential candidate.
Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, is the third person to refuse Opposition parties' request to contest the July 18 election against the NDA candidate.
Earlier, Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah had declined to be the Opposition’s joint candidate for the election of the next President of India.
"Having considered the matter deeply I see that the Opposition’s candidate should be one who will generate a national consensus and a national atmosphere besides Opposition unity. 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,” Gandhi said in a statement.
Gandhi announced his decision a day ahead of the Opposition’s second round of discussions to finalise a consensus candidate. At least 17 Opposition parties had met last week in a meeting called by TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Delhi. The meeting had decided to field a consensus candidate.