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Presidential polls: MNS chief Raj Thackeray says the President’s post is a ‘rubber stamp’

Mumbai city news: Raj said that the president did not impact the life of the common man in any way and the post was a rubber stamp for the party in power.

mumbai Updated: Jun 26, 2017 14:26 IST
Manasi Phadke
Manasi Phadke
Hindustan Times
mumbai city news,presential polls,mns
MNS chief Raj Thackeray.(HT FILE)

Ahead of the presidential election next month, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray courted controversy by saying that the country’s president is simply a rubber stamp post and has no use for the common person.

Thackeray said, “The president is a rubber stamp. The party in power gets to have this rubber stamp.”

He added that the president did not impact the life of the common man in any way. “I feel bad looking at the politics surrounding a presidential election. But keeping politics aside, how does who becomes president affect our lives?Presidents are only seen on August 15 and January 26. Who knows what they do for five years other than this?” he said.

Thackeray said people keep writing letters and emails to the president about issues that grip the country, but never get replies. “The last issue I remember where a president was involved was in the capital punishment of 1993 blasts convict Yaqub Memon. Otherwise, in your life, in my life, how does a president make a difference? Has a president ever stated his point of view on anything? There have been so many issues right from the Maratha protests to the farmers’ agitation. What did the president do?” the MNS chief said.

Voting for the presidential election is scheduled on July 17, while the counting takes place on July 20, four days before President Pranab Mukherjee’s term ends. The National Democratic Alliance picked its candidate first, former Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind, who is a Dalit. A few opposition leaders such as Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar broke ranks to announce their support for the NDA candidate. NDA ally Shiv Sena made a veiled accusation of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) indulging in vote bank politics, but later announced its support for Kovind.

A few days later, the opposition picked its presidential candidate, former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, also a Dalit, prompting some leaders such as Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati to return to its fold.

First Published: Jun 24, 2017 17:48 IST