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'BJP won't part with Sena over Pranab'

Terming Shiv Sena's support to Pranab Mukherjee for the president's post as 'unfortunate', Maharashtra's Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] chief Sudhir Mungantiwar ruled out any possibility of his party severing ties with its National Democratic Alliance partner.

Mungantiwar told reporters here that the Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI [Republican Party of India led by Ramdas Athawale] alliance would contest the 2014 assembly polls in the state together and that the BJP was not feeling 'insecure' about Sena's increasing 'closeness' with the Congress party.

'[Shiv Sena, BJP and RPI] will contest 2014 assembly elections in the state together. Shiv Sena is an independent party and we respect their decision [on supporting Pranab],' Mungantiwar said.

However, he said that the Sena's decision to support Mukherjee will only encourage the Congress party.

'There is an anti-Congress wave in the country. We cannot take a decision that will strengthen Congress-NCP and because of which our votes will get divided,' he said.

'If Pranab Mukherjee has assured Shiv Sena that after becoming president he would hang Afzal Guru then it's a good thing,' he said.

Mungantiwar also accused the United Progressive Alliance [UPA] of protecting Afzal Guru, who was convicted in the 2001 parliament attack case.
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