Sixteen MPs of Shiv Sena have urged Uddhav Thackeray, who was recently ousted from the Maharashtra CM’s position after facing a huge rebellion, to support the NDA presidential candidate, Droupadi Murmu, instead of the Opposition nominee Yashwant Sinha. The presidential election is scheduled for July 18.
The demand was made at the meeting that was called by Uddhav Thackeray at his residence Matoshree in Mumbai on Monday (July 11) afternoon. Thackeray had called the meeting to know for whom the Shiv Sena MPs wanted to cast their vote during the presidential elections.
The Shiv Sena chief has reportedly assured his MPs that he will make the final decision on this issue in the next 2-3 days.
In today’s meeting at #Matoshree,#Shivsena MPs have agained told #UddhavThackeray to extend support to NDA candidate #DraupadiMurmu for #PresidentialElection.— Dinesh Mourya (@dineshmourya4) July 11, 2022
Shivsena chief has assured his MPs that he will take final decision on this issue in next 2-3 days.#YashwantSinha https://t.co/MllFvpGdcP
It may be noted that only 12 MPs from the Lok Sabha and two Members of the Rajya Sabha attended a meeting called by Uddhav Thackeray on Monday. The party has 19 MPs in the Lok Sabha.
NDTV quoted Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar as saying that all sixteen MPs agreed that Droupadi Murmu “is a tribal woman and that’s why they should vote for her”.
Shiv Sena MP writes to Uddhav Thackeray to support Droupadi Murmu
Notably, last week, Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale had written to Uddhav Thackeray asking the party to support Droupadi Murmu. “Droupadi Murmu comes from the Adivasi community and has a seminal contribution to social life,” said Shewale, asking Thackeray to issue instructions to the party MPs accordingly.
Another Shiv Sena MP from Maharashtra’s Palghar Lok Sabha seat, Rajendra Gavit, had also urged the party supremo to support the candidature of Droupadi Murmu in July 18 presidential election.
According to a Sena MP acquainted with the proceedings, the party has not yet declared its stance on the presidential election. “There is a chance of cross-voting due to the elections taking place through secret ballot. Eventually, it will be Shiv Sainiks who are fighting each other. Shewale’s letter is an attempt to bring about a rapprochement between the two factions,” said another MP.
“The Shiv Sena is with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and will take a decision at the right time,” the Shiv Sena MP and party secretary Vinayak Raut said.
It is noteworthy that the Shiv Sena twice parted with the BJP in the presidential election while it was a member of the NDA. It backed Pranab Mukherjee over P A Sangma in 2012 and supported Maharashtra-native Pratibha Patil, a candidate for the Congress, over Bhairon Singh Shekhawat of the NDA in 2007.
Political drama in Maharashtra
It may be recalled how the Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray resigned from the post of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on June 29, minutes after the Supreme Court of India refused to intervene with the Maharashtra Governor’s direction for a trust vote. The Governor had asked Uddhav Thackeray-led SS-NCP-Cong ruling coalition to prove majority in Assembly on June 30, with voting at 5 pm.
The CM had addressed the public through a live video on Facebook and announced that he is resigning. Along with the post of CM, he had also resigned as an MLC. Following his resignation, Eknath Shinde took oath as the CM of the state and went on to prove his majority on the floor of the house.
Uddhav Thackeray and Shiv Sena were facing a coup since 21st June 2022 when Eknath Shinde and 39 other Shiv Sena MLAs rebelled against the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance in the state and asked to get back into an alliance with their former partner BJP.