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Shiv Sena wants BJP to make a choice

In a day of high drama, the Shiv Sena stopped short of snapping ties with estranged ally Bharatiya Janata Party. Sena president Uddhav Thackeray asked BJP to choose between Sena and the Sharad Pawar-led NCP which has offered unconditional outside support to the BJP government in Maharashtra. Playing the Hindutva card as a face-saver, Uddhav claimed at a time when anti-Hindu forces (an allusion to hardline AIMIM) had reared their heads in the state, he did not want the strength of Hindutva forces to be divided.

The Shiv Sena also suffered a blow with the BJP weaning away technocrat and former union minister Suresh Prabhu, who was sworn in as a union cabinet minister from the BJP quota on Sunday. Meanwhile, Sena is faced with uncertainty over its role in the Devendra Fadnavis-led government in Maharashtra, which will seek a trust vote this week. Consequently, the Sena underwent the ignominy of asking Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai, who was in Delhi to be sworn in as a minister of state in Narendra Modi’s government, to return to Mumbai after talks fell through.Uddhav Thackeray

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