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Pratibha Patil: Sena stand ambiguous
June 16, 2007 16:22 IST
National Democratic Alliance constituent Shiv Sena on Saturday remained ambiguous on whether it would support United Progressive Alliance-Left nominee in the presidential election, Pratibha Patil, who hails from Maharashtra.
The editorial in Sena newspaper Saamna on Saturday reflected the party's ambiguity.
Giving mixed signals, the editorial said that though Sena adopted Hindutva ideology, it never abandoned the Maharashtrian pride (asmita), and in Pratibha Patil, a Maharashtrian would have the privilege to become the President.
The Sena has been in favour of Maharashtrians occupying top posts.
Sena top brass met on Friday night for two hours and discussed the presidential elections. Sena chief Bal Thackeray will announce the party's decision on June 19, the foundation day of the Sena.
"The media is now greatly concerned about the Marathi pride. But when we raise the banner of Marathi pride, these people oppose us," it said adding, "we will take a decision after considering what is in the interest of the nation as well as Maharashtra's interests."
It also took a dig at Pratibha Patil's reaction in which she expressed gratitude to Sonia Gandhi. "What else would she do? After such a favour from Sonia, to express gratitude is the thing to do as per Congress' code of conduct," it said.
The editorial recalled that socialist stalwarts Achutrao Patwardhan and S M Joshi were offered the candidature for President's post in the past, but both of them had declined.
"Both these leaders epitomised sacrifice. Where would one find men like them now? So you have to anoint whoever you can lay your hands on?" it said.
The paper also took potshots at Sonia and Congress saying that "a non-Indian woman is wielding the whip and dictating terms."
"The prime minister as well as the President are toothless figureheads, now it seems a Maharashtrian would be another such toothless figurehead," it added.