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Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind is BJP's presidential nominee

19 June 2017

Mumbai: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah will meet ally Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray with the main agenda of discussions likely to centre around the upcoming presidential election, party officials said here on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Andra Pradesh and Telangana CM's Chandrababu Naidu and KC Rao have extended their willingness to support BJP's candidate Kovind for the presidential election. Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was present during the meeting.

However, he added that "we are also known as a "Krishi pradhan desh" and hence it is appropriate that we have a person like Swaminathan" as President.Earlier, party MP Sanjay Raut demanded that Swaminathan's name be considered for President if the BJP was not ready for nominating Bhagwat. He was referring to the constant talk by Shiv Sena to withdraw support, which has not come true till now.

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Confirming National Democratic Alliance (NDA)'s candidate, Amit Shah in a press conference said that the party has unanimously chose to elect Ram Nath Kovind as their nominee.

It may be recalled that in the past the Sena has taken stand diametrically opposite to the BJP during the 2007 and 2012 presidential polls.

"If you have any names in mind, please give it to me".

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On Friday, the first meeting between the government and the opposition on presidential elections remained inconclusive as no names were discussed by either side.

Shah, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's closest adviser and top campaign strategist, played up the humble origins of Kovind, 71, who has served two terms in the Rajya Sabha and is a practising lawyer. BJP president Amit Shah, who met Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at Matoshree, apparently assured him that the BJP parliamentary board would consult all NDA constituents before finalising its nominee.

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. The Sena had supported Congress candidate Pratibhatai Patil (2007) against the BJP candidate Bhaironsingh Shekhawat and Congress candidate Pranab Mukherjee (2012) against BJPs candidate P A Sangma. So, now what we are saying is if they (government) do not tell us the name of their Presidential candidate by June 20, then we will appeal to other opposition parties that we should all meet on June 21 and declare our candidate.

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On the recent farm loan waiver announced by the Maharashtra government, Mr. Shah had said through it the state was offering relief to the farmers.