Shiv Sena will not contest West Bengal polls, stand in solidarity with Mamata: Sanjay Raut
Mumbai, Mar 04: In a shocking turn of events, the Shiv Sena on Thursday announced that they will not contest the upcoming West Bengal Assembly election. The party said that it will extend their complete support to Mamata Banerjee's re-election campaign as Chief Minister for a third term.
"A lot of people are curious to know whether Shiv Sena is contesting West Bengal polls or not. So...after discussions with party president Uddhav Thackeray...looking at the present scenario, it appears like a 'Didi vs All' fight. All 'M's - money, muscle and media - are being used against 'M'amata Didi. Hence, Shiv Sena has decided not to contest West Bengal polls and stand in solidarity with her. We wish Mamata Didi a 'roaring' success, 'cos we believe she is the real Bengal Tigress," Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut announced on social media platform Twitter.
In January, Shiv Sena had expressed interest to contest the West Bengal Assembly elections after consultations with Thackeray, who is also the Maharashtra Chief Minister.
The Sena's exit from the poll battle could prove a blessing in disguise for both the BJP and Mamata's TMC. While the pro-Hindutva votes could now shift towards BJP, the Sena's clout among the same masses could fuel the TMC campaign.
Earlier, it can be seen that the Shiv Sena was an ally in the BJP-led NDA government till the 2019 Parliamentary elections and had contested the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal for the first time that year.
The party had fielded candidates from 15 out of the 42 seats - Kolkata Dakshin, Jadavpur, Basirhat, Barrackpore, Bankura, Bishnupur, Medinipur, Barasat, Dumdum, Purulia, Kanthi, Malda North, Birbhum, Bolpur and Murshidabad.