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Thackeray pitches for Hindutvawadi PM

Mumbai: In a statement that would not go well with NDA ally Janata Dal (United), Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray today pitched for a Prime Minister with Hindu ideology in the next general elections. "A person who is a staunch `Hindutvawadi` (follower of Hindu ideology) should become the Prime Minister of the country," Thackeray wrote in an editorial in party mouthpiece `Saamana`.

Earlier this week, JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar suggested a "secular" Prime Ministerial candidate for the BJP-led NDA in the 2014 general elections. His statement, seen as an attack on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, had invited sharp reaction from BJP and RSS. Taking a swipe at Nitish, the Sena patriarch said these "secularists" do not want a person following Hindu ideology to become Prime Minister. He said the word secular has become an "abuse".

The Sena, which is part of the NDA, criticised the BJP-led Opposition alliance for delaying announcement of its Presidential nominee. "Since they did not have a candidate of their own, they borrowed P A Sangma as their Presidential nominee." Interestingly, Congress too had described Sangma, a former Lok Sabha Speaker and one of the founding members of NCP, as a "borrowed" candidate.

The Sena chief reiterated his party`s support for UPA Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee, saying the decision was taken in the best interest of the country. "Although, Shiv Sena and JD(U) have not supported Sangma, that does not mean NDA is a divided house. If Congress think in that way they are wrong," he said.

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