Amit Shah to meet 'opposing' ally Uddhav Thackeray

Ivan Schwartz
June 19, 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday arrived at the BJP headquarters to attend the party's Parliamentary Board meeting called to discuss and select the party's candidate for the July 17 presidential election. 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. The BJP has remained non-committal to the names though it has said it is open to discussions. Shah's visit to Uddhav's residence is politically significant since there was strong opposition to the meeting within BJP.

Thackeray told Shah on Sunday that the Sena would take a decision only after the BJP's nominee for the Presidential election was named.

In the Presidential polls of 2007 and 2012, the Sena deviated from the NDA to vote for the Congress nominees: Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee respectively.

The committee members include Union ministers Rajnath Singh, M Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley, who are also the members of the Board.

Mr. Shah said, "When Sonia Gandhi steps down from her post [as Congress president] everybody knows who will be the next party president. We shall consider that too", he said jocularly, addressing a press conference here.

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Uddhav on his part urged Shah to include the Sena in the selection process.

The latest Sena-BJP tussle over a complete farm loan waiver has recast the spotlight on the seemingly irreconcilable differences between the two key players.

BJP president Amit Shah pointed out towards the party policy of considering the welfare of the Nation on priority basis. The names are expected to be added after the BJP parliamentary party meet, which is expected to meet today, comes to a decision, party sources have said. After winning the Lok Sabha, assembly and local body polls the confidence of BJP is high as it is preparing for the 2019 general election. "The burden of loan waiver will be on the government and not banks".

He said the Sena wants to work for social causes in the state keeping aside politics of religion.

Other reports by GizPress

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