The Bharatiya Janata Party, while describing as “unfortunate” the Shiv Sena’s decision to support the candidature of Pranab Mukherjee for President, has said it will not, however, have any impact on the alliance between the two parties. “Their [Sena’s] decision is unfortunate. There is an anti-Congress wave in the country, and at such a time, they have supported Pranab Mukherjee. [But] there is no rift in the alliance or any impact from the decision. Alliances aren’t broken regarding such trivial issues,” Maharashtra BJP president Sudhir Mungantiwar said answering questions at a press conference here on Wednesday.

Afzal Guru issue

He hinted at a deal between the Sena and the Congress on the issue of the death sentence to the Parliament attack case convict, Afzal Guru. The Sena insists on the hanging of Afzal Guru. “If they [the Sena] haven’t [insisted on it] and have supported Mr. Mukherjee’s candidature [unconditionally], then it is unfortunate. Else, how will it benefit the country or the NDA?”

To the Sena criticism of the National Democratic Alliance’s indecisiveness in nominating a Presidential candidate, the State BJP president attributed the delay to evolving consensus among the many alliance partners.

Mr. Mungantiwar accused the Congress of disregarding the process of consensus in choosing a candidate.

“We thought the United Progressive Alliance would discuss with all parties and build consensus. But they just made a pretence of bringing everyone on board. They simply passed on the baton to Sonia Gandhi. The BJP is strongly opposed to this.”