The seat-pact with the BJP for the Maharashtra assembly election is over for Shivsena, but the NDA’s second largest political party is hopeful about retaining its ministerial berth in Modi government.
Anant Geete, considered a key aide of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, is the sole minister in the union cabinet. He is in charge of heavy industries ministry.
"There is no question of resigning. I am a part of NDA. It (the future of the Sena-BJP alliance in Maharashtra) should be clear by today evening," Geete said earlier in the day before his party decided to snap ties.
While Geete hurriedly left for Mumbai after the announcement came, his party sources maintained that the NDA alliance at the centre would not be affected. “We could not reach a seat-sharing arrangement in Maharashtra. It does not mean that we have come out of the NDA,” said a senior Sena leader.
BJP too, avoided any bitter attack on its estranged ally: "We are committed that even if we are parting ways there will be no bitterness whatsoever between our old partners," BJP’s state in-charge for Maharashtra Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
Sena sources claimed that chances of a post-poll alliance are still open.
Even if Sena sits out of the alliance, Modi government will remain largely unaffected as the BJP enjoys brute majority in Lok Sabha. In Rajya Sabha, however, the NDA which is already in minority will lose three more seats and will be forced scout for more outside partners.
Sena, which has 17 Lok Sabha MPs, was also expected to get an additional berth at the centre at the next cabinet reshuffle. Earlier, Geete had refused to take charge of the heavy industries portfolio as he considered to too light.