Shiv Sena to support Draupadi Murmu for President: Thackeray

Mumbai: As anticipated, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday announced that it will support the NDA’s Presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu vis-a-vis the non-BJP Opposition’s nominee Yashwant Sinha.

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray made the formal announcement after a series of consultations with the party MPs, MLAs, and other leaders including tribals.

“There has been absolutely no pressure from the MPs, as claimed in the media. However, many Shiv Sena leaders and office-bearers from tribal communities have requested us. We have taken a decision to support Draupadi Murmu for the President’s elections,” Thackeray told media persons.

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Earlier today, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut cleared the air over the party’s pick in the presidential election and said, “We discussed Draupadi Murmu (NDA’s Presidential candidate) in our meeting yesterday. Supporting Draupadi Murmu does not mean supporting BJP. Shiv Sena’s role will be clear in a day or two; party chief Uddhav Thackeray will make a decision.”

Earlier on Monday, Party MP Gajanan Kirtikar said 16 of 18 party MPs were present in the meeting called by the Shiv Sena chief and added that Uddhav Thackeray will convey his decision in a day or two.

“She is an NDA candidate but Draupadi Murmu belongs to the tribal community and is a woman. We should give her our support – this was the demand by all MPs (of the party). Uddhav ji told us that he will tell us his decision in a day or two,” Kirtikar said.

“We had supported Pratibha Patil, a UPA candidate, as she’s a Marathi woman. We had supported Pranab Mukherjee, a UPA candidate. Uddhavji will announce support to her (Draupadi Murmu) as she’s a tribal woman. We should see beyond politics for the Presidential election,” he added.

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