If Not Bhagwat, MS Swaminathan Should Be President: Thackrey

The Shiv Sena chief feels that given the farmers’ distress, the nation needs a pro-farmer President.

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Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackrey recommended agricultural scientist MS Swaminathan’s name for presidential candidate. (Photo: Altered by <b>The Quint</b>)

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackrey on Friday said his party would recommend eminent agriculture scientist MS Swaminathan's name for the post of President of India, if the BJP was not ready for RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s candidature.

Sena which had been consistently pushing for Bhagwat to be the presidential candidate, changed its stand after the RSS chief expressed his disinclination to be the NDA’s candidate.

While Thackrey had recommended Bhagwat’s name for top post to seal “India’s fate as a Hindu Rashtra”, he felt that the nation needed a ‘pro-farmer’ president. However, Thackrey maintained that Bhagwat was still Sena’s first choice for presidency.

As the centre grapples with farmers’ rage across Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Haryana, Swaminathan will be a perfect choice.
Uddhav Thackrey

Comparing Swaminathan with India’s former president Abdul Kalam, Thackrey reiterated that Swaminathan too was a man of repute and the farmers of the country would benefit from the implementation of his recommendations.

Thackrey’s announcement comes two days ahead of his scheduled meeting with BJP President Amit Shah, during which they are likely to discuss the presidential elections.

Ministers Meet Top Opposition Leaders

According to ANI, NDA’s candidate for presidency will be announced on 20 June, prior to which there will be a meeting to decide on the same.

On Friday, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Venkaiah Naidu, along with Home Minister Rajnath Singh met with top leaders from the Opposition to discuss a possible ‘consensus candidate’ for Presidential elections.

Speaking after the meeting, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the BJP delegation did not specify any name, and instead tried asking the Congress for their nominee.

The union ministers met veteran politician Mulayam Singh Yadav, CPI leader D Raja, and senior BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra, among others.

They also met CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, who said:

Yes, we met, but they did not propose any name, so unless a name comes up, we can’t discuss further.
  • BJP delegation on their way to meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi. (Photo: ANI)
  • Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu with BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra. (Photo: ANI)&nbsp;
  • 

Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu with SP leader and veteran politician Mulayam Singh Yadav. (Photo: ANI)
  • Union Minister Rajnath Singh with CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury. (Photo: ANI)

(With agency inputs)

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