Bring stability to Kashmir, then worry about Maharashtra, Shiv Sena taunts BJP

Nitesh Rane

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.

With the BJP having decided the same day on Bihar governor Ramnath Kovind's candidature for presidential elections, Mr Shah called Uddhav requesting the Sena's support. The names are expected to be added after the BJP parliamentary party meet, which is expected to meet today, comes to a decision, party sources have said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah will also attend the meeting of the party's highest decision making body.

Sena, the BJP's oldest ally, which has been consistently pushing for Mohan Bhagwat as the next president, changed its stand after the RSS Chief recently expressed his disinclination to become constitutional head of the country.

Transport Minister Diwakar Raote, while speaking to reporters here, said that Sena will raise the issue of fragile economic condition of the DCC banks after the notes recall exercise in November previous year with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis during the cabinet meeting next week. Apart from Uddhav, Shah's closed-door meeting in Matoshree, the Thackeray home in suburban Bandra, also included CM Devendra Fadnavis and Uddhav's son Aaditya Thackeray.

In an effort to soothe the relationship between the two parties, Danve said the BJP does not want midterm polls but, if the elections are held, it is ready to face it. In 1997, Sena propped up former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) TN Seshan as its Presidential candidate against KR Narayanan.

He said political parties had been informed of the NDA's choice. Later Sena will decide whether to offer support to the candidate.

"There are attempts being made to play politics over a Dalit presidential candidate". So, the Shiv Sena is upset with this fact. The CM looks totally in command in the state and has convinced the BJP leadership about why it is important to keep the Sena in good humour at least for now.

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