BJP to declare presidential candidate on Tuesday

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

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 situation has gone out of hand in Kashmir and Darjeeling where innocents are being killed. According to the source, during the meeting Shah appealed to the Sena to support the BJP's nominee for the president's post.

For the past two presidential elections, the Sena has broken away with the NDA and backed Congress nominees Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee. There is no consensus candidate at this point - with the BJP yet to name its candidate and most of the opposition parties insisting that they can only come to a decision when a name is announced.

It may be recalled that Bhagwat has already stated that he is not interested in the presidential polls.

He was responding to questions at a press conference about ally Shiv Sena, which has often been critical of the BJP and the Modi government, suggesting the name of M S Swaminathan, known for steering India's Green Revolution, as its presidential choice.

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Later today, Shah is scheduled to meet party MPs, MLAs, state unit office bearers, morcha presidents, presidents of districts and mandals and other elected representatives in south Mumbai.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah will attend the meeting. "But instead of mid-term poll results, we are anxious about what will happen in Kashmir and in violence-hit Darjeeling", the Sena said in Saamna.

"Amit Shah says Maharashtra Government will last its five-year term".

Fadnavis made the remarks in reference to reports speculating mid-term polls in Maharashtra amid farmers' stir seeking loan waiver in view of the agrarian crisis.

"Some people said (when the agitation was on) that they will bring the government down. It was a very positive meeting and sent a signal that the Sena is very much part of the NDA despite its frequent outbursts", a BJP functionary said.