Pranab Mukherjee could be consensus PM candidate in 2019: Shiv Sena
Trying to queer the pitch for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Shiv Sena on Saturday spoke of the possibility of former President Pranab Mukherjee being a “consensus candidate” to lead an NDA government if the BJP fails to get a majority on its own in the 2019 general elections.
The editorial in the latest edition of Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna claims that “political corridors in Delhi are abuzz with the possibility of Mr Mukherjee being a consensus candidate for the PM’s post” if the BJP fails to garner a majority in the Lok Sabha.
The BJP has already announced that it will contest the next Lok Sabha polls under Mr Modi’s leadership. And no other political party, from the NDA or from the non-NDA groupings, has publicly said anything in this regard.
Comments by the BJP’s disgruntled ally have come three days after BJP president Amit Shah met Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai to placate him, and two days after Mr Mukherjee visited the RSS’ headquarters in Nagpur and addressed the concluding session of the 25-day annual third year training camp.
Despite Mr Shah’s efforts to placate the Sena boss, the BJP ally remains firm in its stand to go it alone in the Lok Sabha polls and has also sent out a message to its cadre in this regard.
The BJP, sources said, has also asked its cadre to start preparing to fight elections from all the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra.
Sources said that though Shiv Sena’s decision to leave the NDA fold will depend on the performance of the BJP in the 2019 elections, it seems that it will remain a regular irritant for the BJP till then.