Gopal Gandhi seeks televised discussion with Venkaiah

28 Jul 2017

Opposition's Vice-Presidential nominee Gopalkrishna Gandhi today pitched for a televised discussion with NDA candidate Venkaiah Naidu, and said he has approached the Rajya Sabha TV to arrange such a dialogue.

In an interview to news agency PTI, Gandhi said such a discussion on issues of national importance would make people aware of their perspectives and allow the MPs to consider their suitability. The 71-year-old former ambassador, who also served as the West Bengal governor between 2004 and 2009, said he believes that the vice presidential election is about the "safeguarding of our republican values", above and beyond party politics. "I therefore welcome the opportunity to share the ballot paper with Naidu and I look forward to discuss important national issues from the constitutional perspective with him", he said.

"I have requested the Rajya Sabha TV to arrange a joint discussion, not a debate, between us two on RS TV so that our perspectives can be shared not just with the electors but with the public at large in an atmosphere of cordiality and frankness," Gandhi stated. Asked why he chose to contest despite the numbers stacked against him, the former West Bengal Governor said he did so as a "united opposition" made an "earnest request, overcoming their own regional and political differences for re-affirming the country's republican values and democratic ethos. Eighteen parties, including the JD-U which has just entered into an alliance with the BJP in Bihar, had supported the candidature of the Mahatma's grandson.