Trust vote: Sena clears air, to declare stand tomorrow

Trust vote: Sena clears air, to declare stand tomorrow

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.

Shiv Sena, a key BJP ally, has kept the Modi government guessing on which way it would vote when the Lok Sabha takes up the opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion on Friday.

“During voting, whatever Uddav Thackeray directs us, we will do,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told reporters when asked about the no-confidence motion.

Sena's leader in the Lok Sabha Chandrakant Khaire has issued a whip to all its 18 members in the lower house asking them to be present for the entire day on Friday when the House takes up the no-confidence motion moved by TDP leader Kesineni Srinivas.

Shiv Sena has a blow-hot, blow-cold relation with the BJP. The party leaders are upset that the BJP leadership had not called Uddhav to formally seek his support for the no-trust vote.

Shiv Sena has often called the BJP its “biggest enemy” in Maharashtra and has left no opportunity to take pot shots at the Modi government.

Shiv Sena leaders are expected to criticise certain policies of the Modi government but may finally vote in favour of the NDA.

Shiv Sena leaders have not forgotten the treatment meted out to one of their colleagues Ravindra Gaikwad when TDP leader Ashok Gajapati Raju was the Civil Aviation Minister.

Raju was instrumental in imposing air travel restriction on Gaikwad, who had manhandled Air India ground staff last year after being made to travel economy class while the airliner charged him for a business class ticket.

Shiv Sena is the second biggest constituent of the NDA after the BJP. It is also the oldest ally of the BJP with their ties dating back to 1987. However, the two parties fought the 2014 Maharashtra Assembly elections separately only to join hands a few weeks after the Devendra Fadnavis government had assumed office.

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