In the end Shiv Sena-BJP are 'Hindutva brothers': Swamy

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New Delhi/ Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], June 20 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday welcomed Shiv Sena for its support to National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. Downplaying the rift within the NDA following Uddhav Thackeray's criticism that the BJP was fielding Kovind to win over Dalit votes, Swamy said that it was natural of its "Hindutva brother" to side with the ruling dispensation. "In the end they are with us, they are with us in Maharashtra, Delhi and Uddhav Thackeray is a very sober person. He may make his notice here and there, but in the end we are Hindutva brothers and we will stay together," Swamy told ANI. Similarly, NDA's ally the Republican Party of India (A) leader Ramdas Athawale also welcomed Shiv Sena's support to the Dalit candidate. "I also express my gratitude to Uddhav Thackeray for supporting Kovind and because Bala Saheb believed that Bhim Shakti and Shiv Shakti work together and never would have I ever doubted that he would be against his candidature," Athawale told ANI. Earlier, Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray told media persons that his party has finally decided to support Kovind for the country's top post. It is notable that Thackeray had announced that Shiv Sena would not extend its support to Kovind if the Centre was eyeing a vote bank by nominating a Dalit face for the upcoming President polls. "If someone is trying to make a Dalit a President with the purpose of gaining a vote bank then we are not with them," Thackeray said. He, however, added that they would extend their support only if the decision was taken for the development of the nation. Though the main opposition Congress party, Left parties, Bahujan Samajwadi Party ( BSP), Rashtriya Janata Dal ( RJD), and Janata Dal (United) have not extended support to Kovind, other opposition parties like Odisha's Biju Janata Dal (BJD), and Andhra's YSR Congress Party have supported Kovind's candidature. Bihar Chief Minister and JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar has called a meeting of party leaders on Wednesday to discuss over the candidature of Kovind. Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday extended his support to Kovind by saying that he is a deserving candidate. (ANI)