With Shiv Sena deciding to go it alone in city corporations and other civic polls across Maharahstra, focus has been shifted to stability of the BJP-led government in the state, in which the Uddhav Thackeray-led party is a junior partner.
The BJP circles, however, refused to set great store by such assertions, stating that the ally's decision will have no impact on the Devendra Fadnavis government's stability.
Eagerly watching the development from the sidelines is NCP. The party supremo Sharad Pawar has declined to spell out clearly what stand his party would take in case Sena pulled out of the government.
Parrying queries on the matter, the veteran politician said on Thursday that he would not answer hypothetical questions, but added, "They should take the decision and later come for the discussion."
Significantly, NCP had pledged outside support to BJP when it emerged the single largest party but fell short of absolute majority in 2014 Assembly polls.
Elections to 10 Municipal corporations, including the cash rich Mumbai, and 25 Zilla Parishads and 283 panchayats are to be held between February 16 and 21.
Shiv Sena insiders say the outcome of these elections will determine whether the party pulls out of the Fadnavis government, which it joined in December 2014.
"If Sena does well in these elections, the party will not hesitate to withdraw support to the government," a Shiv Sena source said.
'We are carrying resignation letters with us'
A day after the Shiv Sena decided to go solo in the Maharashtra civic polls, senior Sena leader and state minister Ramdas Kadam on Friday said he and his colleagues in the BJP-led government are carrying resignation letters in their pockets and waiting for party chief Uddhav Thackeray's directions.
"We carry resignation letters in our pockets. We will resign whenever Uddhavji asks us to do so," Kadam told reporters here, after the Sena ministers met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to hand over a demand seeking cancellation of a government directive related to removal of religious photos from government offices.