As President Pranab Mukherjee's tenure in office nears its end, Shiv Sena yesterday proposed to pick RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s name as a candidate for the President of India post. Shiv Sena MP and the Executive Editor of party's mouthpiece 'Saamana', Sanjay Raut yesterday said that Bhagwat would be an apt choice to fulfill the dream of achieving a "Hindu Rashtra". Supporting his suggestion, Raut added, ''It is the highest post in the country. Somebody with a clean image should occupy it. We have heard Mohan Bhagwat's name is being discussed for President. He is good choice for the post.''
This comes as senior BJP leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s names are being discussed as the BJP's nominations for presidential candidate.
Shiv Sena has a knack of going against BJP’s decision when it comes to presidential candidates. In the last two Presidential elections, Shiv Sena fielded for Congress candidates and helped former President Pratibha Patil and President Pranab Mukherjee to win. This time it is believed that the party have dragged Bhagwat’s name in the race as its last chance to bargain with BJP to get one cabinet and one MoS minister in the Centre and an important portfolio in Maharashtra too. There has been a tussle between the two parties since Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation poll in February this year. The MLAs from both the parties have mounted pressure to break up post alliance with each other.
Born in Chandrapur in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, Bhagwat, 66, has headed the RSS since March 2009. He graduated in Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry from Government Veterinary College, Nagpur and became a RSS ‘pracharak’ in 1975.
Presidential elections are due in end of July and the next president will take charge from July onwards.
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