Calling Narendra Modi the most popular leader since Independence, Shah said the Prime Minister was making all efforts to transform India into a world power by 2022, when the nation celebrates 75 years of freedom.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in the past had said he had suggested Bhagwat’s name for the post of president. BJP sources said the SP leaders told Naidu that his party should choose a political person.
The BJP Parliamentary Board is meeting today to reportedly take a decision on its Presidential nominee.
Amid reports of sharp differences between BJP and ally Shiv Sena over the presidential poll, a senior BJP member told TOI on Sunday that Sena would support NDA in the elections, to be held in mid-July.
He said that the BJP and the NDA would finalise the name for the presidential election by June 23. 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 BJP parliamentary board meeting will be attended by Narendra Modi, party chief Amit Shah and also Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu, who are the members of the panel formed to build consensus with the opposition.
Bhagwat, 66, recently said he is not interested in the president’s post. “The alliance with Sena is not a compulsion for us and we are not tolerating them”, said Shah.
Uddhav on his part urged Shah to include the Sena in the selection process.
The Sena chief said he offered prayers on Thursday at the Gajanan Maharaj Temple in Pune to give strength to the government to implement its promise of farm loans waiver.
According to Amit Shah, there will be a BJP government even after the election.
The Sena statements came barely 48 hours before a Shah-Thackeray “summit” scheduled for Sunday morning to solicit and secure its support for an NDA candidate for the Rashtrapati Bhavan. After winning the Lok Sabha, assembly and local body polls the confidence of BJP is high as it is preparing for the 2019 general election.