Blackmailing continues

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Sena asks BJP to choose either Mohan Bhagwat or MS Swaminathan else nominate a candidate of their choice for the president’s post whereas Amit Shah says that his party is ready for mid-term polls.

No breakthrough was made in the meeting held between BJP president Amit Shah and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray for seeking the latter’s support for presidential poll candidate. The tug of war between both the parties continued as Sena asked BJP to choose either RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat and Agriculture Expert MS Swaminathan or nominate a candidate of their choose for the president’s post. Later Sena will decide whether to offer support to the candidate. The meeting which was held at Matoshree was also attended by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BJP state unit president Raosaheb Danve and Yuva Sena president Aditya Thackeray. The meeting lasted for more than an hour.

The Shiv Sena had earlier said it may choose an “independent” path in the election to the highest constitutional office. It had backed Congress nominees — Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee — in the last two presidential elections.

On the other hand, Amit Shah said that BJP is ready for mid-term polls and urged activists to strengthen the party base in Maharashtra. After winning the Lok Sabha, assembly and local body polls the confidence of BJP is high as it is preparing for the 2019 general election.

“All the party workers must start working actively for expanding the party’s base in Maharashtra. I am confident that our government under the leadership of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is doing a good job and it will complete its full term in the state. Even Fadnavis himself had mentioned that BJP is ready for mid-term polls. If polls are held then I am confident that we will emerge victorious. The alliance with Sena is not a compulsion for us and we are not tolerating them,” said Shah.

According to sources, Amit Shah informed Uddhav Thackeray that almost all allies of NDA have assigned powers to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to finalise the name of candidate for presidential polls. Shah urged Sena to offer support to presidential candidate.

On the recent farm loan waiver announced by the Maharashtra government, Mr. Shah had said through it the state was offering relief to the farmers. “The burden of loan waiver will be on the government and not banks,” he had said.

The BJP chief said the NDA government had taken up the cause of the downtrodden, women, tribals, farmers and weaker sections of society and did not have a single allegation of corruption against it.