Shiv Sena on Tuesday threw in support for NDA’s nominee Ram Nath Kovind for the President’s post a day after the party said it wouldn’t support anyone who tries to make a Dalit as the head of state for the sake of gaining votes. Shiv Sena party chief Uddhav Thackeray today said they would support Kovind, news agency PTI reported.
On Monday, the BJP proposed the name of Ram Nath Kovind as the NDA candidate for the upcoming Presidential election. Following Kovind’s nomination, Thackeray had said, “If someone is trying to make a Dalit a President with the purpose of gaining a vote bank then we are not with them.” However, he said that if the decision had been taken for the development of the nation, Shiv Sena may support it. Shiv Sena had earlier said that Kovind’s name was not discussed with the allies before hand.
— ANI (@ANI_news) June 20, 2017
The NDA – including the Shiv Sena – is said to have close to 5.37 lakh votes in the Electoral College and does not enjoy a majority in spite of its strength in the Lok Sabha and the recent victory in Uttar Pradesh. However, the alliance is only short of around 11,000 votes that could be easily compensated by regional parties in the south such as the TRS, YSRCP and the AIADMK. But if the Shiv Sena, which has frayed ties with the BJP and has a significant number of MPs in both Houses, had intended to go the other way, the numbers game could have been different for the BJP.