MUMBAI: Shiv Sena has decided to contest the upcoming West Bengal state assembly election.
Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut and party chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut informed that they had a meeting with Maharashtra chief minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday where this decision contesting West Bengal polls has been taken.
After the meeting, Sanjay Raut immediately tweeted, “So, here is the much-awaited update. After discussions with Party Chief Shri Uddhav Thackeray, Shivsena has decided to contest the West Bengal Assembly Elections. We are reaching Kolkata soon...!! Jai Hind.”
Sources in Shiv Sena said that Sanjay Raut will go to Kolkata and meet the cadre and decide how many seats and which one should be contested in the total number of 298 seats of West Bengal state assembly. On the other hand, the BJP is also trying hard to poach the Trinamool Congress Party lawmakers ahead of the polls.
Interestingly, Shiv Sena is the alliance partner of the Congress and the NCP, but in West Bengal, it has decided to go solo rather than tying with any political front. Congress has decided to ally with the Left front.
Sources in Sena said that the Sena leadership knew that they will not win any seats, but its main intension is to damage the BJP by eating the Hindu votes. “The BJP and the Shiv Sena share the same ideology and so Sena has calculations that if they contest that they will surely damage the prospect of the BJP in West Bengal. Besides, it has no shortage of resources now. Therefore, the Sena is likely to field the candidates where the BJP is strong. Besides, Sena has also planned to attract the disgruntled leaders and prospective candidates in BJP who will be denied the tickets in the polls,” the source added requesting anonymity.
Sena will not fight to win the elections but to damage the chances of the BJP. "But the voters are shrewd and they will not vote to Sena. People generally vote to the main competitors but there are some sections that go with the local leaders. If the Sena gets such strong local leaders and in the multi contest, the victory margin is always thin so the candidates of Sena grabbing the small numbers of the vote can cost heavy to BJP. It is very difficult to predict everything now. But Sena will do everything to damage BJP and help incumbent chief minister Mamata Banerjee."