Shiv Sena backs BJP's presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind

Shiv Sena backs BJP's presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind

Shiv Sena backs BJP's presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind

BJP president Amit Shah met Thackeray on Sunday, the last day of the former's visit to Mumbai, to enlist the party's support for the NDA's presidential candidate.

Earlier, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday also appreciated the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) choice of Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind as presidential nominee and said that it's "a matter of happiness" for him, but was non-committal on the support of his party, Janata Dal (United), to his candidature.

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.

Telangana Chief Minister and TRS Chief K Chandrasekhar Rao extended his support to NDA's presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind after speaking to PM Modi.

However, he said the party would not tolerate if the candidature is intended for ensuring provision of Dalit votes, as the Shiv Sena keeps away from vote-bank politics. He also refused to accept that Sena had made a U-turn. The AIADMK, TRS, TDP and BJD have all reportedly said that they would back the NDA candidate.

Shiv Sena is the third largest component in the vote shares, next to Telugu Desham, with a contribution of 2.34 percent.

"Shiv Sena is in favour of nomination of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for the Presidential poll". We had suggested the name of MS Swaminathan so that farmers get benefited.

Bhagwat, however, didn't show any interest whereas Swaminathan chose not to react. "If that is so, we are not interested in backing him".

For the BJP it is still a long way to go before it can actually bring up a mass leader from among the Dalits and nominate him/her for an important office.

Uddhav Thackeray had said the Sena had proposed Bhagwat's name, keeping in mind the concept of "Hindurashtra" (Hindu nation).

The total comes to 10,98,903 votes with each MP carrying a vote value of 708.

No doubt the Sena has been telling its cadre to be ready for a snap poll, but so far, apart from being a nagging partner in a bad marriage of convenience with the BJP, had done precious little to take any step. Kovind is likely to file his papers on 23 June, BJP president Amit Shah said in Delhi after a almost two-hour meeting of the party's parliamentary board.

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