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Neither Advani, Nor Bachchan, Bhagwat for Presidentship?

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After Shiv Sena’s proposal, will BJP consider Mohan Bhagwat’s name for the presidential post?

As the presidential election will be held in few months Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has proposed Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat’s name for the coveted post. Many names like L.K Advani, Amitabh Bachchan, Arun Jaitley, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sharad Pawar, Dr Subramaniam Swamy has been doing the rounds since last few months. Bhagwat is the latest addition to the list of contenders for the presidential post. Earlier there were talks about BJP recommending veteran leader L.K. Advani for president’s post. However, ever since Narendra Modi has become Prime Minister the relation between both leaders has strained. Earlier, Advani had opposed Modi’s name for prime ministerial post.

After BJP came to power in 2014 L.K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Atal Behari Vajpayee was included in the Margdarshak Dal a move which was seen by many as to keep Advani out of active politics and decision making process. The role of Margdarshak Dal is restricted to merely advising BJP on party affairs and it lacks constitutional role. In 2014, Advani had skipped the National Executive meeting of BJP held at Goa citing health reasons. When Modi was made prime minister, Advani had resigned from all posts. Thus has BJP sidelined Advani and will it consider another leader for the presidential post? There were also reports that Advani might not be considered for the post due to his age and his differences with Modi.

Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha Sanjay Raut has said that Mohan Bhagwat is a right choice for the president’s post.

“It is the highest post in the country. Somebody with a clean image should occupy it. If India has to be made a ‘Hindu Rashtra’, Bhagwat will be a good choice for President. But the decision (to support his candidature) will be taken by Uddhavji,” said Raut.

Meanwhile, Sanjay Raut has mentioned that all the discussions pertaining to the nomination of presidential candidate will be held at Matoshree. Earlier also all the meeting in connection with this regard was held at the same venue.

“In the last two Presidential polls, Balasaheb (Thackeray) had gone against the flow and done what was in the interest of the nation. Even then, the Presidential candidates had come to ‘Matoshree’ to discuss the elections,” the Sena leader said.

“Those who want votes can come to ‘Matoshree’. We are ready for a dialogue. Sumptuous food is cooked at ‘Matoshree’ as well,” Raut said.

President Pranab Mukherjee’s term in office comes to an end in July 2017.

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