New Delhi: Shiv Sena, which is part of
BJP-led NDA, on Thursday indicated that its support cannot be taken
for granted in the Presidential polls due in July.
"Shiv Sena has always given importance to the interests
of the nation than to politics and therefore the party can
take an independent view. The stand of the party will be
decided by Thackarey at the time of elections", party
spokesman Sanjay Raut, MP, said.
He said for Thackarey, national interest has always
taken precedence over power and politics.
Raut`s statement is significant in view of the fact
that in 2007 it had played the Marathi card and supported the
UPA-Left presidential candidate Pratibha Patil.
Thackeray had said at that time that Shiv Sena has
decided to support Patil as she will be the first
Maharashtrian as also the first woman to reach the coveted
With the decision, Sena had then defied the National
Democratic Alliance and sent termors in its partnership with
its ally BJP which was supporting the late Vice President
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat who had contested as an independent.
In the 1997 Presidential elections, Shiv Sena had
sponsored T N Seshan as its candidate for Presidential
election despite having miniscule strength in the electoral
college. That time K R Narayanan had won hands down.
With numbers not on the side of the ruling alliance, it
is being said Congress-led UPA has a better chance of
winning the Presidential election if it fields a candidate
more acceptable beyond party line but parties like SP, AIADMK
and BSP would play an important role.