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Shiv Sena non-committal on Presidential nominee

IANS  |  Mumbai 

The kept its ally on tenterhooks on Monday as it remained non-committal on whether or not it will back the candidature of Governor Ram Nath Kovind for the Presidential

Sena MP Sanjay Raut told the media that President Amit Shah called up President Uddhav Thackeray after announcing Kovind as its candidate for the July 17

"Shah informed him (Thackeray) about the choice and also sought the Shiv Sena's support for Kovind's candidature," Raut said.

On his part, Thackeray maintained his earlier stance and said he would call a meeting of the to discuss the issue before taking a final decision within a couple of days.

The oldest and most prominent ally of the BJP, Thackeray told Shah on Sunday that his party would take a decision only after the BJP's Presidential nominee was named.

Raut reiterated that the was keen on the candidature of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat or eminent agro-scientist M.S. Swaminathan.

However, he told the media that Thackeray "will address all your doubts" at the Shiv Sena's 51st anniversary of founding function scheduled later Monday evening in Mumbai.

In the past, on two occasions, the had deviated from the NDA line by supporting UPA candidates: in 2007 when Pratibha Patil won the and in 2012 when incumbent Pranab Mukherjee was elected.

On the first occasion, the late Sena supremo Bal Thackeray had thrown his lot behind Patil on grounds that she was the first Maharashtrian and a woman to ccupy the top constitutional post.

Patil defeated NDA candidate and Vice President B.S. Shekhawat.

In 2012, Mukherjee personally called up and later met Thackeray soliciting his support, which the Sena chief offered, going against the BJP-supported NDA candidate, the late P.A. Sangma.

This time round, the Sena stance on Kovind's candidature would be considered crucial as it is a ruling NDA partner both at the centre and in Maharashtra.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, June 19 2017. 19:36 IST