Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Friday said it would recommend eminent agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan's name for the highest post if the BJP was not ready for the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's candidature.
Sena, the BJP's oldest ally, which has been consistently pushing for Mohan Bhagwat as the next president, changed its stand after the RSS chief recently expressed his disinclination to become constitutional head of the country.
The Sena had earlier said the nation needs a person who can seal its fate as a 'Hindu Rashtra.' Bhagwat, 66, recently said he is not interested in the President’s post.
It had also criticised the BJP over the recent farmers' strike in Maharashtra for their demands of a complete loan waiver and remunerative price for their produce, and asked the ally to take lessons from it.
"Today, not only in Maharashtra, but farmers across the country are in distress. They have, in several parts of the country, hit the streets in protest. If the government accepts Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, farmers will immensely benefit," Sena MP Sanjay Raut told reporters.
The cultivators, who recently went on a strike against Maharashtra government, had demanded implementation of the recommendations of the Swaminathan committee report, along with a blanket loan waiver.
"All his recommendations should be accepted and implemented immediately," Raut said.
"Before the Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in-principle agreed to implement all recommendations of the Swaminathan committee report. Even after coming to power, he had assured of fulfilling his promise," he said.
"Therefore an eminent person like him is fit to hold the President's post. Uddhavji will recommend his name to Amit Shah when he calls on him at 'Matoshree' (Thackeray's residence) on Sunday," Raut said.