Friday, 20 October, 2017

Amit Shah to meet 'opposing' ally Uddhav Thackeray

Christy Curtis | 22 June, 2017, 06:12

"Shah informed him (Thackeray) about the BJP choice and also sought the Shiv Sena's support for Kovind's candidature", Raut said. State BJP president Raosaheb Danve too was kept out.

JD (U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed happiness that the Bihar Governor would be the NDA's candidate for the President elections.

With Amit Shah kicking off his 95-day nation wide tour with Mumbai, it'll be interesting to see BJP thwart the challenges ahead of it, the primary being the Presidential election. Sources said that Mr Thackeray has refused to extend a blanket support to the BJP candidate without knowing who it is.

Shah defended the approach of his party in meeting opposition leaders over presidential election without proposing a name.

"I am holding a meeting of Shiv Sena leaders tomorrow to take a decision on this", said Uddhav.

However, Shah made it clear that both the names suggested by the Sena, that of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and agriculture scientist MS Swaminathan weren't in the reckoning. He further questioned the need to hold meeting with allies if BJP did not wish to discuss the name with them.

Shah is scheduled to meet Uddhav Thackeray at the latter's residence "Matoshree" in suburban Bandra on Sunday.

Only last week, the Sena claimed that it could take an independent line on presidential elections, creating a flutter in the BJP.

The Sena chief said he offered prayers on Thursday at the Gajanan Maharaj Temple in Pune to give strength to the government to implement its promise of farm loans waiver.

In the past two presidential polls, Sena broke ranks with NDA and backed Congress' Pranab Mukherjee and Pratibha Patil.

The separatists in West Bengal are heavily armed and get support from various quarters, though Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is trying her best by inviting them for talks, the Sena said.

"The burden of loan waiver will be on the Government and not banks", he had said.

Earlier, there were unconfirmed reports that the BJP was considering Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, tribal leader Draupadi Murmu and "Metro man" E Sreedharan for the top post. The Sena chief agreed, contradicting the BJP, which supported NDA candidate P.A. Sangma.

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