No unconditional support to BJP: Sena
Thackeray asks Shah to make NDA candidate public before Sena decides stand
Mumbai: The much-hyped meeting between BJP President Amit Shah and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray over the Presidential polls ended inconclusively on Sunday afternoon at Thackeray’s residence, Matoshree.
According to sources, Thackeray told Shah to declare the presidential candidate first, following which he should seek Shiv Sena’s support. The Shiv Sena has already suggested two names from its side.
The meeting comes a day after the BJP chief, who is in Mumbai on a three-day visit to strengthen the party organisation in the State, said his party would consult its allies before finalising the NDA’s presidential candidate.
The meeting between Shah and Thackeray lasted for 75 minutes. Apart from Uddhav, his son Aditya and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis participated in the meeting. The meeting has assumed significance as the tension between the allies is increasing over various issues in the State, especially on the issue of farmers’ loan waiver.
Shah told Thackeray that almost all members of the NDA have agreed to give all powers over choosing of the presidential candidate to PM Narendra Modi. Shah asked the Sena to also give its consent.
Meanwhile, Thackeray said that his party has already suggested two names, one is that of RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat and the other is agriculture expert MS Swaminathan.
Thackeray has asked the BJP to either decide on the names suggested by his party or to pick a candidate of their own choice, following which the Sena will decide whether to support him or not.
BJP’s worry is that the Sena had backed Congress candidates Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee in the last two presidential elections, despite being BJP’s oldest ally. Sources said that the issue of farm loan waiver was also discussed in the closed door meeting, but details were not available.