Mumbai, June 19: Hours after announcing its support for UPA presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee, the Shiv Sena Tuesday demanded that the NDA should declare its prime ministerial candidate now.
Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Bharatkumar Raut told IANS that the National Democratic Alliance should name its choice of prime minister for the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
“We feel that the NDA should take this step but only after consultation with all the parties in the alliance,” Raut said.
He appeared to endorse Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s similar demand on the NDA, widely perceived as a tactic aimed at neutralizing the prime ministerial ambitions of some Bharatiya Janata Party leaders.
Earlier, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray set at rest all speculation by announcing his party’s support for the ruling United Progressive Alliance presidential nominee Mukherjee.
In the last presidential election too, the Shiv Sena broke ranks with the BJP and voted for UPA’s Pratibha Patil as she is a Marathi.