Centre should discuss beef ban issue with various states: Shiv Sena

PM Narendra Modi arrives at party headquarters for BJP Parliamentary Board meeting to discuss its nominee for the upcoming Presidential elections. The meeting is expected to take place on Sunday at the Thackeray residence, "Matoshri" in Bandra east. Shah will visit Mumbai on a three-day trip to celebrate the party's three years in power at the Centre under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

However, Thackeray said he would like to know the name of the ruling party's candidate before deciding on its support in the July 17 presidential election.

"The Shiv Sena is not interested in the presidential election if you are going to field a candidate only because he belongs to the Dalit community".

The Shiv Sena, which is seen as the BJP's natural ally due to the common Hindutva agenda, in 2007 had supported incumbent Pratibha Patil over the BJP's Bhaironsingh Shekhawat as she was a Maharashtrian.

With the Sena realising how much the BJP needs it for July's presidential polls, the saffron party is pushing for a hard bargain.

A meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Board, the party's highest decision-making body, is underway to deliberate on a nominee for presidential elections next month. "We do not support this", he said.

The BJP chief Amit Shah is likely to meet the Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray during his Maharashtra visit beginning Friday.

Shah told Uddhav that once the BJP finalises a candidate, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would speak to him (Uddhav). "But since they have chosen some other name, the party will convey to the BJP our decision soon", Raut said.

As the war between Shiv Sena and BJP has intensified after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections this February, the opposition is leaving no stone unturned to make the most of the situation.

The BJP-led NDA (including Sena) has total of 52 MPs. "If the government tries to cheat them, Sena will throw the loan waiver papers as trash", he said.

All eyes are on Sena's support as it has embarrassed the BJP in the previous two Presidential elections by backing the rival candidate.

Naidu also held discussions with Samajwadi Party's Ram Gopal Yadav and Naresh Agrawal. Gopal Krishna Gandhi, a former diplomat along with current incumbent Pranab Mukherjee are the top choices for the Opposition.

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