With Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena partying ways in Maharashtra it is unlikely that the alliance at Centre will continue. In that case Sena Minister Ananth Geete will have to quit and 18 Lok Sabha and four Rajya Sabha MPs of the Shiv Sena will get detached from NDA. A tactical understanding between BJP and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and even Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is not ruled out for the Assembly polls given MNS had not put up any candidate in the Lok Sabha elections to help Modi win. BJP is also banking on the fact that the original Shiv Sena, which has already split into two, is no longer the force that it used to be. Sena’s departure will have impact on alliance pulling ahead at Centre. After JD (U), it is the second exit of a big partner from NDA. Both splits happened because BJP refused to succumb to pressure from an ally who regularly differed. In the case of JD (U) it was the projection of Modi as Prime Minister in defiance of Nitish Kumar’s vote. It speaks of new assertiveness of BJP leadership. It looks that upsets in the recently concluded bye-elections have not dimmed the BJP’s faith in Modi’s appeal to deliver. The snapping of ties is also to send a message not to put up with junior partners status anymore. Though any alliance with NCP looks a remote reality but the situational conditions may not rule out such a patch up. It was NCP Chief Sharad Pawar’s rebellion against Congress brass in 1995 which paved the way for the saffron alliance’s maiden win in Maharashtra. Pawar also shared a close bond with former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee as the later was also keen on a tie-up with NCP but because of the opposition from a section of the party in Maharashtra, the alliance could not materialise. Even today senior BJP functionaries feel had the alliance been taken up during the 2004 elections future would have been different. Politics is a game of more odds and less evens. So emergence of a new political combination cannot be ruled out.