Presidential polls: Kovind gets 25000-vote boost as Shiv Sena backs NDA

Summary: 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.

Bhagwat, however, didn't show any interest whereas Swaminathan chose not to react. "We do not support this", he said. The Shiv Sena had earlier refrained from spelling out its stand on supporting Kovind for president. The CM looks totally in command in the state and has convinced the BJP leadership about why it is important to keep the Sena in good humour atleast for now.

When asked what made him agree to back Kovind, the Sena chief said, "We have studied his personality and found him to be a very simple and a decent human being.

Uddhav Thackeray ji has said that for Shiv Sena Mohan Bhagwat ji is the deserving candidate for the post of President of the nation and the party collectively bats for him", he added. First, reports that Shah has told the Maharashtra BJP leadership that the party should target the Sena as its premier political rival in the next Lok Sabha elections. However, if it is not acceptable to BJP, then in that case Dr MS Swaminathan's name be announced as NDA nominee, " said Shiv Sena MP and spokesman Sanjay Raut.

Shah, along with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, visited Thackeray's residence "Matoshree" and held a close-door meeting, which started at around 10 am and lasted for almost 75 minutes.

"Every minister in the previous UPA government considered himself the PM, but nobody considered the PM as PM", he said. The Sena didn't vote with the NDA in the last two presidential polls.

Though the main opposition Congress party, Left parties, Bahujan Samajwadi Party ( BSP), Rashtriya Janata Dal ( RJD), and Janata Dal (United) have not extended support to Kovind, other opposition parties like Odisha's Biju Janata Dal (BJD), and Andhra's YSR Congress Party have supported Kovind's candidature. "We do not go there to play and they don't come here and play", Shah, who is also Chairman of Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA), told media persons during a press conference here.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee didn't seem happy with the Kovind's candidature.

  • Julie Sanders