Uddhav Thackeray
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray says Shiv Sena will oppose BJP if it takes NCP's help to win the trust vote scheduled for November 12.IANS

The Shiv Sena stuck to its decision of mounting pressure on the Bharatiya Janata Party and took to Opposition benches as the assembly session in Maharashtra began on Monday.

The Sena, BJP's estranged ally in the state, had warned on Sunday that it would sit in the Opposition if BJP took direct or indirect support from Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party ahead of the trust vote on Wednesday.

The special three-day session of the Maharashtra Assembly began at 11 am on Monday. Shiv Sena legislators, who wore the trademark saffron headgear, sat in opposition benches. 

"We have two more days for the trust vote, and we are in favour of bringing in a stable government. But if the BJP decides to take direct or indirect support from the NCP, which is an anti-Hindutva party, the Shiv Sena will go against the trust vote. We will sit in the Opposition and not be part of the government at the cost of self-respect," Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had said at a press conference on Sunday, following high drama over the party's recall of its Rajya Sabha MP from Delhi's cabinet expansion ceremony.

The party boycotted the first cabinet expansion by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and withdrew its nominee Anil Desai who was scheduled to take oath as a central minister on Sunday. 

The political instability in the state will continue until the Devendra Fadnavis-led government proves majority during the trust vote.

The BJP has 121 MLAs in the 288-member House, and is 24 members short of forming majority, though it is said to have taken several independent candidates on their side to strengthen their numbers.

However, Fadnavis has unequivocally maintained that the party will not relent to Sena's pressure tactics.

"It is unfortunate the Sena dishonoured the PM's invitation (to the swearing-in). We are disheartened with the Sena's decision," Fadnavis had said on Sunday, as reported by Hindustan Times.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley, who took additional charge of Information and Broadcasting, had earlier on Monday also snubbed the Sena issue, stating that "some problems take care of themselves".

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