Presidential Polls: Shiv Sena To Support NDA’s Pick Droupadi Murmu, Says Uddhav Thackeray

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday extended support of his camp to Droupadi Murmu, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA’s candidate, in the upcoming Presidential polls, scheduled to take place on July 18. The announcement was made by Thackeray himself during a press conference a day after several MPs and other leaders of the party told him to support Murmu “because she is a woman from a tribal community”.

During the press conference, Thackeray made it clear that none of the MPs has put pressure on him to take the decision. “Many of our tribal leaders have requested me, for the first time, the tribals are becoming the President, so Shiv Sena is announcing their support,” Thackeray said.

“Shiv Sena has never done politics on such a subject, although we should have protested, but I am not in such a small mind,” he added.

According to reports, some Sena MLAs and leaders, especially those from the tribal community, have already asked the Sena leadership, a former ally of the BJP, to back Murmu because of her tribal roots.

Shiv Sena MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut informed that 15 out of 18 MPs in Lok Sabha attended the meeting held at ‘Matoshree’ to discuss about the same. 

Besides 18 members in the Lower House of Parliament from Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena also has its MP, Kalaben Delkar, in the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. It has three MPs in the Rajya Sabha – Sanjay Raut, Priyanka Chaturvedi and Anil Desai. 

Earlier, two Sena MPs – Rajendra Gavit and Rahul Shewale – had separately written letters to Thackeray urging him to support Murmu for the post of President.

The presidential election will be held on July 18 in which 4,809 members comprising MPs and MLAs will vote to elect incumbent Ram Nath Kovind’s successor. Counting votes will take place in the national capital on July 21.

Major opposition parties led by the Congress and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) have jointly fielded former Union minister Yashwant Sinha for the top post.