UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee is far ahead in the race for the top post with big support base while the BJP is finding it to decide on a candidates though it hopes to win support for PA Sangma. Sangma's chances of winning the president's race however seems slim as even some of the NDA allies are backing Pranab Mukherjee for the top job.
Key NDA constituent Shiv Sena has assured UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee its support in his bid for the top constitutional post. BJP allies the JD(U) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) are also not in favour of a contest against Pranab Mukherjee. However, BJP leadership feels it can ultimately prevail over allies like the Shiv Sena and the JD(U) in its move to support Sangma's nomination.
Shiv Sena today described Pranab Mukherjee as the "right candidate" for the top post and sought unanimous support for him. "Let bygones be bygones. Let us unanimously support Pranab Mukherjee and show the world that "hum sab ek hai" (we are all united)," Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said.
"The farce that is on for the top post of President is not justifiable. The country's prestige is at stake for political gains. Those who have no merit are also in the race," Thackeray, who party was understood to be concerned over NDA's approach to the Presidential polls, said.
The Sena chief also dismissed allegations of backstabbing against the party. "Nobody should dare level allegations of treachery and backstabbing against the Shiv Sena. The Sena is not out to seek vengeance because such allegations were made earlier," the Sena chief said, in a statement published in the party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
In an editorial in 'Saamana', Thackeray said the Sena, which is celebrating its 46th anniversary today, has crossed borders of Mumbai and Thane and is in a position to decide the country's President.
Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut had said last night that the "The Sena will support Pranab Mukherjee (in the Presidential polls)." The assurance was given to Mukherjee, who called up Sena chief Bal Thackeray and his son Uddhav Thackeray, the party Executive President, yesterday, Sena sources said.
Breaking ranks with BJP, Shiv Sena had supported Pratibha Patil in 2007 as she hailed from Maharashtra. BJP and other NDA constituents had at that time backed late Bhairon Singh Shekhawat for the post of President.