Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Raosaheb Danve on Monday claimed 12 MPs of Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena are in touch with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde faction and are ready to cross over. Speaking to reporters here in Maharashtra, Danve also said Shiv Sena might support National Democratic Alliance (NDA’s) Presidential nominee Droupadi Murmu given that she is tribal. ”12 MPs of Shiv Sena are ready to leave the party and are on the verge of joining the Eknath Shinde camp,” the Jalna MP said. The Shiv Sena has 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha.
Danve also said the Shinde faction is the true Shiv Sena as he has the support of two-thirds of total (55) MLAs. ”I am confident that the Supreme Court and the Election Commission will rule in favour of the Shinde faction,” he said when asked about which faction will be allotted the Shiv Sene’a bow and arrow poll symbol. In a relief to Shiv Sena MLAs of the Uddhav Thackeray faction, the Supreme Court on Monday asked newly-elected Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar not to proceed with the plea seeking their disqualification which was sought by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s group on the ground of defying party whip during the trust vote and the election of the speaker.
Queried on whether MLAs and MPs of the Uddhav Thackeray camp will support Murmu in the Presidential election, Danve said he thinks so. ”If Uddhav Thackeray supports the NDA candidate, I will welcome such a decision. I feel Sena might support Murmu as she hails from a tribal community. A large number of Adivasis live in our country, and this is for the first time that a tribal will become the President of India,” he added. Earlier in the day, 13 Lok Sabha MPs of the Shiv Sena physically attended a key meeting held at Uddhav’s private residence ’Matoshree’ in Mumbai on the presidential elections and a majority of them suggested supporting Murmu.
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