Bring stability to Kashmir, then worry about Maharashtra, Shiv Sena taunts BJP

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The election for the next President of India is to be held on July 17 as President Pranab Mukherjee will demit the office on July 24. "After our support, I do not think it will be hard for the BJP to get him elected", Thackeray told reporters at his residence "Matoshree" in Mumbai.

Thackeray also took on BJP chief Amit Shah and Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for their statements on the BJP's readiness for midterm polls in Maharashtra.

"As far as organization is concerned Bhagwat ji himself said that it is a good entertainment news and his statement encapsulates and ends all the narratives which goes to Sangh headquarters", he added.

Responding to a question that if Sena will support the opposition parties if they field a Dalit candidate, Thackeray said his stand will not change now.

"The Shiv Sena has always kept away from such vote-bank politics", said Thackeray at a rally to mark the party's 51st foundation day celebrations.

Even as the Shiv Sena and the Peoples Democratic Party supported the candidature of BJP's presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday, the Opposition was still in talks over its proposed joint candidate against Mr. Kovind.

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On his part, Thackeray maintained his earlier stance and said he would call a meeting of the Shiv Sena to discuss the issue before taking a final decision within a couple of days.

Patil defeated NDA candidate and Vice President B.S. Shekhawat.

"If we suggest a name of the candidate then they (opposition) will think that the name has already been finalised".

Attempting to put the BJP in a spot, the Sena was originally insisting on two different names.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in the past had said he had suggested Bhagwat's name for the post of president. Today the BJP has the upper hand in Mumbai and, is nearly neck and neck with the Sena in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, which is said to be the country's richest municipality. There are 67 members from Maharashtra in Parliament - 48 in the Lok Sabha and 19 in the Rajya Sabha.

It remains to be seen how the JD-U, BSP and Samajwadi Party, with a total vote value of over 5 per cent, vote. "The burden of loan waiver will be on the government and not banks", he had said.

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