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Sena to sit in oppn if BJP takes NCP support

Sena to sit in oppn if BJP takes NCP support
Highlights

As an array of politicians took their oaths to join the Prime Minister\'s Council of Ministers, Anil Desai, a Shiv Sena leader who had landed in Delhi was asked to skip the ceremony and immediately catch a flight back to Mumbai.

BJP-Sena ties on verge of closure

  • It is up to the BJP to decide, if they take any support from the NCP, we will not stand with them: Uddhav
  • We will not hesitate to vote against them if the BJP and NCP combine: Thackerey threatens

Mumbai: As an array of politicians took their oaths to join the Prime Minister's Council of Ministers, Anil Desai, a Shiv Sena leader who had landed in Delhi was asked to skip the ceremony and immediately catch a flight back to Mumbai.
A file photo of PM Narendra Modi and Uddhav Thackeray
That could have detonated the ending of the Shiv Sena's alliance with the ruling BJP, but at a press conference this evening, Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray refused to call it. "It is up to the BJP to decide...if they take any support from the NCP, we will not stand with them," he said, referring to Sharad Pawar's party which has offered to back the BJP's minority government in Maharashtra, a move that has greatly diminished the power of the Shiv Sena. "Shiv Sena won't hanker for power at the cost of self- respect,"Uddhav told reporters at Sena Bhawan in Central Mumbai on Sunday, after a meeting of party legislators.

On Wednesday, the BJP's Devendra Fadnavis must take a trust vote to determine if he will remain chief minister. "We will not hesitate to

vote against them if the BJP and NCP combine," Thackeray threatened, while stating that the Shiv Sena will then serve as the opposition in the state.

In a clear sign that he is willing to continue the negotiations that have spanned weeks, Thackeray said he has not yet decided whether his party will exit the PM's coalition government by pulling out its lone minister - Anant Geete. "We are not a slave to power," Thackeray said, citing his refusal to accept the BJP's offer to induct his party's Anil Desai as a junior minister at the Centre.

Thackeray had asked for his party to be added to the Maharashtra government when BJP ministers led by Fadnavis took their oath 10 days ago; that did not happen. His revised deadline - of Shiv Sena ministers being sworn in before the trust vote on Wednesday was also rejected. Then he was told that Mr Desai, who he had nominated for his party's "quota" in the union cabinet, would be ranked as a junior minister.

The already-strained BJP-Sena ties further dipped when Suresh Prabhu, Power minister in Vajpayee government, deserted the Sena and joined BJP to take oath as a Cabinet minister.

Prabhu has been appointed as Modi's 'sherpa' to assist the Prime Minister at the upcoming G20 summit in Brisbane. During Vajpayee's tenure from 1998 to 2004, Prabhu was Industry Minister, Minister of Environment and Forests, Minister of Fertilizers & Chemicals, Power, Heavy Industry and Public Enterprise.

Union Minister Anant Geete is the lone Shiv Sena representative in the Union Cabinet and the developments could culminate in his being asked by the Sena leadership to quit the government.

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