Giving a major boost to the United Progressive Alliance's Presidential candidate, key National Democratic Alliance constituent Shiv Sena on Tuesday described Pranab Mukherjee as the "right candidate" for the top post and sought unanimous support for him.
"Let bygones be bygones. Let us unanimously support Pranab Mukherjee and show the world that hum sab ek hai (we are all united)," Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said.
"The farce that is on for the top post of President is not justifiable. The country's prestige is at stake for political gains. Those who have no merit are also in the race," said Thackeray.
The Sena chief also dismissed allegations of backstabbing against the party.
"Nobody should dare level allegations of treachery and backstabbing against the Shiv Sena. The Sena is not out to seek vengeance because such allegations were made earlier," the Sena chief said, in a statement published in the party mouthpiece Saamna.
In an editorial in Saamana, Thackeray said the Sena, which is celebrating its 46th anniversary today, has crossed borders of Mumbai and Thane and is in a position to decide the country's President.
Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut had said on Monday night that the "The Sena will support Pranab Mukherjee (in the Presidential polls)."
The assurance was given to Mukherjee, who called up Sena chief Bal Thackeray and his son Uddhav Thackeray, the party's executive president, Sena sources said.
Breaking ranks with the BJP, Shiv Sena had supported Pratibha Patil in 2007, as she hailed from Maharashtra.
BJP and other NDA constituents had at that time backed late Bhairon Singh Shekhawat for the post of President.