Sena slams BJP on situation in J&K, WB

Why BJP Parliamentary Board meet is so important? Your answer here

Summary: Presidential polls: Amit Shah meets Shiv Sena chief Uddhav ThackerayAmid reports of sharp differences between BJP and ally Shiv Sena over the presidential poll, a senior BJP member said that Sena would support NDA in the elections, to be held in mid-July. "Uddhav Thackeray ji has said that for Shiv Sena Mohan Bhagwat ji is the deserving candidate for the post of President of the nation and the party collectively bats for him", he added.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its saffron ally in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena could not reach a consensus on the Presidential elections and the candidates for the coveted post.

Thackeray reportedly disagreed with Shah's suggestion during their meeting on Sunday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi be given the authority to choose the NDA nominee.

Thackeray maintained his earlier stance and said he would call a meeting of the Shiv Sena to discuss the issue before taking a final decision. Even as the Shah-Thackeray "summit" was announced on Thursday, the Shiv Sena fired missiles at neighboring Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is struggling with a farmers' agitation. "The BJP leaders did not give any name to Congress President Sonia Gandhi but they wanted us to reveal the name of our candidate".

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For the past two presidential elections, the Shiv Sena has broken ranks with the NDA and backed Congress nominees Pranab Mukherjee and Pratibha Patil. Moreover, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled to leave for the USA on June 26 followed by Netherlands on June 27, BJP wants to have a name well in advance to try to bring the opposition on board. The Sena, which has often been critical of the BJP and the Modi government, recently suggested the name of M S Swaminathan, the father of India's Green Revolution, for President. "That is why Thackeray has expressed the party's position in such terms that it does not look too happy with the BJP choice, nor appears anti-Dalit", the Sena leader said.

It may be recalled that Bhagwat has already stated that he is not interested in the presidential polls.

Interacting with mediapersons, Fadnavis further said that if forces are trying to destabilise the Maharashtra government, then the BJP is ready to face polls.

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