A day after chief Uddhav Thackeray took umbrage at the announcement of Ram Nath Kovind as the Presidential nominee, the Shiv Sena after a meeting of senior party leaders decided to support his candidature.
“We held deliberations with senior party leaders and have decided to support Ram Nath Kovind’s candidature. We hope that the nation prospers during his tenure,” Thackeray said after a 45-minute discussion at his residence in Mumbai.
The Shiv Sena, over the past few months, had suggested names of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat as well as scientist M S Swaminathan as probable NDA candidates. Thackeray had Monday taken umbrage against the BJP’s decision of putting up a Dalit face as the Presidential nominee by stating that this was being done to pander to Dalit votes.
“Why should the Sena be supportive if you plan to put up a Dalit candidate only for the sake of Dalit votes. Why should we be interested if you want a person who will work only for Dalits. If you put a person who works for the benefit of the entire nation than the Sena is with you,” Thackeray had said while addressing a gathering of party workers during the party’s 51st foundation day celebrations in Mumbai.
The party, which shares an increasingly tenuous relationship with the BJP, has however refrained from rocking the boat as of now.
Thackeray had on Monday claimed that he was not afraid of the threat of mid-term elections.
“ As of now, my only concern are farmers who are forced to commit suicide in the middle of their lives,” he had said.