Mumbai: Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday said that BJP-led NDA should declare its Prime Ministerial candidate only after consulting all the allies. "We will not tolerate a candidate thrust upon us without discussions. We have not supported or opposed anybody," Uddhav said, speaking at a party meeting here this evening.
Uddhav also said that no leader, at the Centre or in the state, had "vision for the country". "Everyone just wants to be Prime Minister," he said.
At one point, Bal Thackeray, the late Sena supremo, had created a flutter by stating that Sushma Swaraj was the only BJP leader capable of handling the Prime Minister's job, and conspicuously not mentioning Narendra Modi. Uddhav today said that Shiv Sena will support a candidate who protects "Hindu interests".
Referring to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's stand that the candidate must be secular, Uddhav said Kumar should clarify what he meant by secular. "I am a supporter of peaceful coexistence of all religions. But appeasement of Muslims will not be tolerated," he said.
Taking on Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and his nephew and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Uddhav said Pawar senior was nursing the ambition to become Prime Minister while Ajit wanted to be the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. "Recently NCP held a meeting to prepare for the Lok Sabha elections. But they did not feel like discussing the drought in the state," he said.