Not in race for the post of President: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut had said that the BJP should think if Mohan Bhagwat if it wants to fulfill its dream of achieving a "Hindu Rashtra".

Putting to rest all speculations, Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat today said that he is not in any race for the post of President of India.

In a surprise move, BJP ally Shiv Sena had on March 27 proposed Bhagwat’s name for the post of President, triggering a debate on who should be considered for the country’s highest constitutional job.

Shiv Sena, which is known for its pro-Hindutva stand, had urged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government to consider Bhagwat’s name for President’s job.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut had said that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance should think of Mohan Bhagwat if it wanted to fulfil its dream of achieving a “Hindu Rashtra”.

Raut had also that that Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray is of the opinion that for making India a “Hindu Rashtra”, Bhagwat is the ideal choice for the post of President.

With a win in Uttar Pradesh, the saffron party clearly has influence over the choice of the next President, but they are short of the half-way mark. Even with Shiv Sena’s support, they have 25,000 votes short of the magic number.

Following Raut’s statement, the Congress had reacted sharply and said that they wouldn’t consider his name as his ideology is totally different that the grand old party of India. Congress spokesperson Tarun Gogoi had reportedly said that the party would not support him due to ideological differences.

Earlier, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had spoken about this topic in an interview proposing many names including that of BJP veteran LK Advani.

Mohan Bhagwat has headed the RSS since March 2009. He was born in Chandrapur in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. The presidential election is due in July when President Pranab Mukherjee will complete his term.

Names of Sushma Swaraj, Sumitra Mahajan and LK Advani are also being considered by the BJP for the President’s job.