Responding to the nomination of Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as the presidential candidate of the ruling NDA, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday said that the party will not support anyone if they try to use a person’s caste to garner votes.
“If someone is trying to make a Dalit a President with the purpose of gaining a vote bank then we are not with them,” Thackeray said while addressing party workers on the Shiv Sena’s 51st foundation day.
“But if it is for the development of the nation then we may support,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena, an NDA partner, said Ram Nath Kovind’s name was not discussed with the allies.
“The name of Ram Nath Kovind was not suggested earlier. We found out the name when it was announced at the press conference,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told NDTV. He further questioned the need to hold meeting with allies if BJP did not wish to discuss the name with them. “Why was the name not discussed with the allies?” Raut said.
On Monday, Amit Shah the President of the Bharatiya Janata Party declared that the NDA government is forwarding the name of Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as their candidate for the upcoming Presidential election. Kovind, 71, is a Dalit leader from Kanpur who has been elected twice to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh and a former BJP spokesperson, is the prime face of the BJP’s Dalit politics.