The Shiv Sena is yet to take a stand on the no-confidence motion moved by the Telugu Desam Party after the latter quit the NDA and targetted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
However, there are indications that the oldest ally of the BJP, which has 18 seats in the Lok Sabha, may take a neutral stand when the no-confidence motion against the NDA government comes in the Lok Sabha.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray is expected to meet senior leaders, MPs, MLAs and MLCs before taking a final call on the issue. However, there is no confirmation yet.
"In Andhra Pradesh, it is a fight between two regional parties - N Chandrababu Naidu-led Telegu Desam Party (TDP) and Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress Party (YCRCP)....it is their competition...we don't want to get into this," Shiv Sena spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut said.
However, during an interactive session with a TV channel, Raut, who is also the executive editor of party mouthpiece Saamana, said: "We were the first party to announce our stand....We are going solo in the 2019 (Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Legislative Assembly) elections.....the decision was taken on January 23 on the birth anniversary of our founder Balasaheb Thackeray."
He also took a jibe on Naidu and said: "Naidu and Shiv Sena are different....Naidu is like leave and licence (agreement)...he goes to the BJP, then he goes to (former Congress president) Sonia (Gandhi)....you see Shiv Sena's record....we have the same position," said Raut.
Meanwhile, senior Shiv Sena leader and Union minister Anant Geete said that no decision has been taken on the issue so far. "Whatever decision has to be taken, will be taken by Uddhav ji," he told reporters after the launch of Tata Starbus Hybrid Electric Bus here.
Geete also had a closed-door meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
On Friday, in an editorial in Saamana, Sena said that the BJP's tally may drop by 100-110 seats in the next Lok Sabha polls in 2019 if the current trends and the results of the recent bypolls are an indicator.
"The twin wins by the Samajwadi Party in the BJP bastions like Gorakhpur and Phulpur has created panic in the BJP camp even as they were busy celebrating the party's victory in a small state like Tripura," the editorial said.