Shiv Sena's executive president Uddhav Thackeray has clarified that backing United Progressive Alliance nominee Pranab Mukherjee for the coveted post of President of India does not mean his political outfit is supporting the ruling Congress party.
"Our support is not to the Congress. You must have read the statement of Balasaheb (Thackeray) where he said that the President is the country's highest constitutional post," said Thackeray.
"Last time, we had supported Pratibha Tai (Pratibha Patil), and T N Seshan before that. This does not mean that we are leaving the NDA for the Congress," he added.
Thackeray further said that the Shiv Sena perceives Pranab Mukherjee as a good candidate for the President's post.
"The NDA, of which we are a part, has not decided upon a Presidential candidate. Therefore we perceive Pranab Mukherjee as a good candidate, whose career we have all seen," he said.
Uddhav Thackeray's father and Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray had written in support of Mukherjee's bid in the party mouthpiece ''Saamna''.
Bal Thackeray, in a statement in Saamna, cited consensus as the reason for his party's support to Mukherjee.
"Let us show to the world that we are one," he said, and took potshots at the various political parties for lowering the prestige of the office of India's President.
The presidential elections will be held on July 19. The vote count will take place on July 22.
Pratibha Devisingh Patil's term as President ends on July 24.