After the Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray called a meeting in Mumbai on July 11 for presidential elections, party leader Sanjay Raut on Tuesday confirmed that there were discussions about NDA's presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu at the meeting and said that supporting her does not mean supporting Bharatiya Janata Party.
"We discussed Droupadi Murmu (NDA's presidential candidate) in our meeting yesterday. Supporting Droupadi Murmu does not mean supporting the BJP. Shiv Sena's role will be clear in a day or two. Party chief Uddhav Thackeray will make a decision," Raut said.
He also highlighted that the party had goodwill toward the opposition's Presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha.
"The opposition should remain alive. We also have goodwill towards the Opposition's presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha. Earlier we supported Pratibha Patil and not the NDA candidate. We supported Pranab Mukherjee also. The Shiv Sena does not take decisions under pressure," he added.
Earlier on Monday, Party MP Gajanan Kirtikar said 16 of 18 party MPs were present in the meeting called by the Shiv Sena chief and added that Thackeray will convey his decision in a day or two.
"She is an NDA candidate but Droupadi Murmu belongs to the tribal community and is a woman. We should give her our support - this was the demand by all MPs (of the party). Uddhav ji told us that he will tell us his decision in a day or two," Kirtikar said.
"We had supported Pratibha Patil, a UPA candidate, as she was a Marathi woman. We had supported Pranab Mukherjee, a UPA candidate. Uddhavji will announce support to her (Droupadi Murmu) as she's a tribal woman. We should see beyond politics for the Presidential election," he added.
The voting for the presidential election will take place on July 18 and the counting of votes will take place on July 21.
While Droupadi Murmu is the presidential candidate of the BJP-led NDA, Yashwant Sinha is the candidate of the opposition parties.
The Shiv Sena saw a revolt last month which led to the resignation of Uddhav Thackeray as the chief minister of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government which also consisted the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party.
Eknath Shinde, who led the revolt, took oath as Chief Minister on June 30.
BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis took an oath as Deputy Chief Minister.
NDA presidential candidate also has the support of the YSR Congress, the Biju Janata Dal and the Shiromani Akali Dal.
She has been touring various states to seek the support of legislators.
Droupadi Murmu is a former Governor of Jharkhand and a former Odisha minister.
If elected, she will be the first tribal President of India and the country's second female President.
Murmu is the first presidential candidate from Odisha of a major political party or alliance.