Trust vote: Will Shiv Sena back the BJP or take a neutral stance?
All eyes would be on the Shiv Sena ahead of the no-confidence motion in Parliament moved against the BJP led government by the TDP and YSR Congress Party.
The Shiv Sena which is the BJP's oldest ally has been the most vocal and critical of the BJP. However, the party is expected to stand with the BJP in the trust vote to be held this week.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the Shiv Sena are likely to meet this week and hold discussions on what they would have to do. The meeting to be chaired by the Sena chief Udhav Thackeray would take a final call on the matter.
While in some Sena circles it has been indicated that the party would back the BJP, others suggest that the party could also take a neutral stance. The BJP for now would want the Shiv Sena to take a neutral stance. Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis would meet with Thackeray in this regard on Monday where he would make an appeal for support.
For the Shiv Sena, there are various issues that would be taken into consideration. Firstly can it afford to stay out of power in Maharashtra and secondly whether it could go in for a complete divorce ahead of the 2019 elections. In an editorial written in its mouthpiece, Saamna, it had predicted that in 2019, the BJP would lose 110 seats. The big question is whether it would back the motion in Parliament and if it does, it would have to also walk out of the government in Maharashtra.
The BJP is however confident that it would get the backing of the Sena. The Sena on its part also hinted that it may not back the motion. The party's leader Sanjay Raut said that the TDP's decision pertains to local politics and it stemmed out of the competition with the YSR Congress.