"Shiv Sena to support NDA pick Ram Nath Kovind for the president's post," said Uddhav Thackeray in a press conference.
On the day the BJP announced Ram Nath Kovind as the NDA's presidential nominee, its alliance
partner Shiv Sena on Monday said the party will come out with its "final decision" on Tuesday.
Addressing the 51st Foundation Day function of Sena in suburban Matunga this evening, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said his party will not back Kovind if he has been chosen with an intention to garner Dalit votes.
"We have never played politics using anybody as a shield. We had suggested the name of M S Swaminathan so that farmers get benefited. We will always support the cause of farmers.
"There are attempts being made to play politics over a Dalit presidential candidate. If that is so, we are not interested in backing him. We will give our final decision on the NDA nominee tomorrow," Thackeray said.
Earlier in the day, the BJP named Dalit leader and Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, who has been associated with the party and the RSS, as the NDA nominee for the top constitutional post.