Maharashtra plunged into a political crisis on Sunday with the Shiv Sena declaring it would sit in the opposition if the minority BJP government of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis took NCP's help to win the trust vote scheduled for November 12.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray made the announcement at a jampacked media conference on Sunday evening where he hinted that the party -- which recalled its nominee for the Narendra Modi ministry's first expansion -- would also rethink its stand on continuing with the National Democratic Alliance.
"We are in no hurry to join the government... If they (BJP) keep insulting and slighting us, why should we support them? We can work for the people irrespective of whether we are part of the government or outside," Thackeray said.
The announcement came amidst loud cheers and applause by several party leaders soon after a meeting of all the party MPs and legislators was held at Shiv Sena Bhavan to elect Eknath Shinde as the new legislative party leader.
The development capped a hectic day in which the party boycotted the first cabinet expansion by Prime Minister Modi and even withdrew its nominee Anil Y. Desai who was scheduled to take oath as a central minister Sunday afternoon in New Delhi, recalling him from the airport itself.
"The BJP must first clear its stand within the next couple of days. There are no compulsions on us, nor are we hankering for power. If BJP takes NCP support, then we shall sit in the opposition and vote against the government... we shall not tolerate any more humiliation," Thackeray asserted.
The Sena chief also denied that any party leaders or legislators had met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders with a proposal to change the state political equations before the three-day special session of the legislative assembly starting here on Monday.