Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Shah seeks Sena support for presidential polls

BJP president Amit Shah met Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday at Matoshree, Thackeray's residence to discuss the candidate for the Presidential election. "Sena had put forward RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's name because we believe in Hindu Rashtra", he added.

The Sena statements came barely 48 hours before a Shah-Thackeray "summit" scheduled for Sunday morning to solicit and secure its support for an NDA candidate for the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

In the Presidential polls of 2007 and 2012, the Sena deviated from the NDA to vote for the Congress nominees: Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee respectively.

As the war between Shiv Sena and BJP has intensified after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections this February, the opposition is leaving no stone unturned to make the most of the situation.

This decision comes a day after Thackeray accused the BJP of playing Dalit vote-bank politics and of fielding Kovind merely to capture Dalit votes. Uddhav will have to back Kovind for the presidential polls as the Sena is NDA's ally and shares power with the BJP in the state and at the Centre, said observers. "We didn't expect this from them", said Azad.

The BJP has called a meetings of its parliamentary board, the party's highest decision-making body to deliberate on a nominee for the upcoming presidential elections. The three-member ministerial team formed to build consensus - comprising Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu - has already reached out to the opposition.

The party has given certain suggestions, including fielding a politician acceptable across a broad spectrum, while indicating that it is open to supporting NDA, the people cited earlier said.

Currently, he is Emeritus Chairman of the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, based in Chennai, which he founded in 1987. Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was present during the meeting.

Mumbai: Adopting a hawkish stance, Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah on Saturday categorically ruled out resumption of bilateral cricketing ties between India and Pakistan.

".an eminent person like him is fit to hold the President's post".

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