Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said alliance partner Shiv Sena was very much a part of the coalition government, both in the Centre and the state, making it clear that the Sena was not going to vote against the BJP-led Narendra Modi government during the no-confidence motion mooted by regional parties like the YSR Congress and TDP. Fadnavis said, “The Shiv Sena is with us and is our valued alliance partner both in the Centre (NDA) and the state.”
The chief minister put to rest speculations over Sena’s stand on the no-confidence motion against the Modi government. The Sena’s top leadership maintained there was no move on its part to take any anti-BJP stand in Parliament at the moment. It was not in favour of destabilising the government at centre or state, they said.
All senior Sena ministers and political leaders spoken to were unanimous in stating that the party will not vote against the Modi government.” They, however, clarified, “The political strategy on whether to have a pre-poll alliance with the BJP would be determined later. The party had adopted a resolution during a Sena conclave to contest the elections alone in 2019.” Of the total 48 Lok Sabha seats, Shiv Sena had won 18 seats in the 2014 parliamentary elections. The support of Sena’s 18 MPs is curcial for the BJP government at the Centre.
In a another significant development, a delegation of 15 members, including senior ministers and political officebearers, held a meeting with Fadnavis to seek support for the lone by-elections in the local bodies in Mumbai. Shiv Sena sitting corporator in ward no. 173 died of heart attack in January 2018. This has necessitated the by-polls. Sena urged BJP for an alliance for the by-polls. The CM conceded Sena’s demand and decided not to field BJP candidate in the by-polls. Senior ministers Subash Desia, Eknath Shinde, Shiv Sena political secretary Milind Narvekar were amongst those who held meeitng with Fadnavis on Friday.