Supporting Murmu does not mean supporting BJP: Sanjay Raut

Mumbai: After the Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray called a meeting in Mumbai on July 11 for presidential elections, party leader Sanjay Raut on Tuesday confirmed that there were discussions about NDA’s presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu at the meeting and said that supporting Murmu does not mean supporting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“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,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut.

He also highlighted that the party had goodwill toward the opposition’s Presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha.

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“The opposition should remain alive. We also have goodwill towards the Opposition’s Presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha. Earlier we supported Pratibha Patil and not the NDA candidate. We supported Pranab Mukherjee also. Shiv Sena does not take decisions under pressure,” he added.

Earlier on Monday, Party MP Gajanan Kirtikar said 16 of 18 party MPs were present in the meeting called by the Shivsena 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.

The voting for the presidential election will take place on July 18 and the counting of votes will take place on July 21.

While Draupadi Murmu is the presidential candidate of the BJP-led NDA, Yashwant Sinha is the candidate of the opposition parties.

The Shiv Sena had seen a revolt last month which led to the resignation of Uddhav Thackeray as chief minister of the MVA government which also had Congress and NCP.

Eknath Shinde, who led the revolt in Shiv Sena, took oath as Chief Minister on June 30. BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis took an oath as Deputy Chief Minister.

NDA presidential candidate also has the support of the YSRCongress Party, BJD and Akali Dal.
She has been touring various states to seek the support of legislators.

Draupadi Murmu is a former Governor of Jharkhand and a former Odisha minister.If elected, she will be the first tribal President of India and the country’s second female President.

Draupadi Murmu is the first presidential candidate from Odisha of a major political party or alliance.

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