Shiv Sena Will Take A Call On BJP's President Pick Today: Uddhav Thackeray

Shiv Sena will not back the National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind if he has been chosen to tap into the Dalit vote bank, Uddhav Thackeray said.

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Shiv Sena Will Take A Call On BJP's President Pick Today: Uddhav Thackeray

Amit Shah met Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai on Sunday to discuss the presidential elections. (PTI)

Mumbai:  Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray said the party will take a "final decision" on whether to support its alliance partner BJP's pick for President of India, Ram Nath Kovind today.

Shiv Sena will not back the National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) presidential nominee, a Dalit, if he has been chosen to tap into the Dalit vote bank, Mr Thackeray said at an event to mark the Shiv Sena's 51st Foundation Day in Mumbai's Matunga on Monday.

"We have never played politics using anybody as a shield. We had suggested the name of MS Swaminathan so that farmers get benefited. We will always support the cause of farmers," news agency Press Trust of India quoted Mr Thackeray as saying.

"There are attempts being made to play politics over a Dalit presidential candidate. If that is so, we are not interested in backing him. We will give our final decision on the NDA nominee tomorrow," Mr Thackeray said.

Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, 71, is a long-time Bharatiya Janata Party worker. He has served twice as a Rajya Sabha member and is a trained lawyer. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi called him on Monday morning to inform him that he was the BJP's presidential candidate.

After landing in Delhi, he met with PM Modi and BJP National President Amit Shah. Following the meeting, Mr Kovind said he will meet leaders of all political parties and seek their support to emerge as a "consensus candidate".

"All those who are members of the electoral college... I will meet leaders of major political parties and seek their support... I hope that every citizen will support me," PTI quoted Mr Kovind as saying.

With inputs from PTI
 

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