BJP-Shiv Sena/ L K Advani, Uddhav Thackeray, Manohar Joshi
Lal Krishna Advani, leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Uddhav Thackeray (R), chief of Shiv Sena, and Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi (L) greet supporters at a joint election rally of the two political allies in Mumbai earlier this year.Reuters

With the decision to vote against Bharatiya Janata Party in the trust vote in Maharashtra Assembly on Wednesday, Shiv Sena seems to have severed every link with its 25-year-old ally, and has also put in question the fate of its MPs in the NDA government at the Centre.

Shiv Sena, currently, has 18 Lok Sabha MPs, including Anant Geete, the sole minister from the party in the Modi cabinet.

The party's Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai has already rubbed the Modi government the wrong way after he was forced to boycott the cabinet expansion ceremony held on Sunday wherein he was meant to be sworn in into Modi's team.

Sena had decided to boycott the ceremony as the negotiations for ministerial berths in the BJP government in Maharashtra had hit a wall.

Geete, however, attended the function, and had said on Monday that there were no directions from Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to leave his cabinet post as Minister of Heavy Industries.

Following the swearing-in, MP Suresh Prabhu, a former Sena member, left the party to join BJP after taking over as Railway Minister.

However, with the two parties cutting off any possibilities of a patch-up, Sena's role in the Central Government could now be on shaky grounds.

If Sena decides to part ways at the Centre as well, it could spell trouble for BJP as NDA will lose its majority in the joint session of the Parliament, where it is currently comfortable with 396 members, four more than the required figure for majority in the joint session.

This could be a crucial dilemma for the NDA government, as it does not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha and has to rely on joint sessions to ensure its legislations are passed.

If Sena withdraws the support of its MPs, then BJP and the NDA alliance could be left in the lurch over policy decisions.

Sena and BJP had broken up their alliance just ahead of the state elections in October, following which Thackeray had made bitter comments about the party and Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi. However, after the election results delivered a fractured mandate with BJP getting the highest number of seats, Sena made a U-turn and sought an alliance to form the government.

However, BJP snubbed Sena's demands for the post of deputy chief minister and other ministerial berths, and relations went downhill once again for the two parties.

Amidst high drama, Thackeray had attended the swearing-in ceremony of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai, but later went back to its hostile stance with the party as negotiations over portfolio sharing in the Maharashtra government reached a deadlock.

What further soured relations was BJP's growing rapport with the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party, which had offered unconditional support to the minority government, and even assured support in the trust vote.

On Wednesday, the day of crucial trust vote in the Assembly, Sena delivered the final blow on the nail when it declared that it will vote against BJP and sit in the Opposition.