Opposition up in arms against Centre over Presidential nominee Kovind

Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah arrived on a much-anticipated three-day visit to the city on Friday, the highlight of which will be a meeting with ally Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray.

Thackeray had said that his party will not back Kovind if his candidature is aimed at garnering Dalit votes. If they (BJP) had a problem with that, we wanted (eminent agriculturist) M S Swaminathan. "We do not support this", he said.

Responding to a query whether the Shiv Sena would support the opposition parties if they fielded a Dalit candidate, Thackeray said the party's stand would not change now.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the BJP had assured that it would inform the Congress about its Presidential candidate in advance for a consensus but now they informed us after taking the decision.

Shiv Sena's support is crucial for NDA as the party has a total vote pool of around 25, 893.

Voting for the presidential election is scheduled on July 17, while the counting will take place on July 20, four days before President Pranab Mukherjee's term ends.

Speaking to media, Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray said that his party has made a decision to support Kovind's candidature and all the lawmakers will vote for him in the upcoming elections. He said if BJP proposed a name to them, there would not be discussion.

Mumbai: The Shiv Sena today demanded that the old currency notes to the tune of Rs 2,771 crore lying with the district central cooperative (DCC) banks should be exchanged by the Reserve Bank.

However, he added that "we are also known as a "Krishi pradhan desh" and hence it is appropriate that we have a person like Swaminathan" as President.Earlier, party MP Sanjay Raut demanded that Swaminathan's name be considered for President if the BJP was not ready for nominating Bhagwat.

BJP president Amit Shah said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already had a word with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh about BJP's candidate for presidential poll. Now we will take a call".

In editorials in Saamana, the Marathi organ and Dopharka Saamana, its Hindi tabloid version, Thackeray, who is also the managing editor of both the newspapers, the party indirectly criticised the Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for issuing a threat of mid-term polls and the Shah endorsing it.

  • Leroy Wright