BJP Parliamentary Board Meeting On; Oppn for 'Secular' Pick

Mumbai:BJP president Amit Shah today began his three-day Mumbai visit during which he will also meet Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.

A day after the much-talked-about meeting between Amit Shah and Uddhav Thackeray, the Shiv Sena on Monday lashed out at the BJP over the emerging situation in Jammu & Kashmir and West Bengal.

The BJP President is expected to appease Thackeray and ensure his support for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate in the upcoming presidential election.

The Shiv Sena had earlier said it may choose an "independent" path in the election to the highest constitutional office. Informed sources said Naidu briefed Shah about his discussions.

Incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee's term ends on July 24.

On Saturday while speaking to newspersons over the Chief Ministers remarks on "mid-term polls", BJP president Amit Shah argued that what Fadnavis meant was that if the mid-term polls are forced on us (BJP) then we (BJP) are ready to fight. Shah urged Sena to offer support to presidential candidate.

The Shiv Sena, the second largest constituent of the NDA, has had an uneasy relationship with the BJP ever since the two parties parted ways ahead of the 2014 assembly polls. Senior Congress leaders could meet under the chairmanship of Sonia Gandhi if BJP announces its candidature today.

Although, neither the Centre nor the Opposition have declared their presidential candidate, yet several names like that of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, have been doing the rounds. The Sena has put the BJP in a fix, after it suggested Mr Bhagwat and Mr Swaminathan (aka father of the Green Revolution) for the President's post. "But since they have chosen some other name, the party will convey to the BJP our decision soon", Raut said.

"Some people said (when the agitation was on) that they will bring the government down, will withdraw support".

The BJP unit in Maharashtra is prepared for mid-term polls, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said here on Thursday. "He told me that his stand is clear and whatever Prime Minister Narendra Modi decides will be acceptable to us", he added.

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