‘In Solidarity With Mamata Didi’: Shiv Sena to Not Fight WB Polls

“Looking at the present scenario, it appears like a ‘Didi vs All’ fight,” party leader Sanjay Raut said in a tweet.

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West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee (Left), Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut (Right).

The Shiv Sena on Thursday, 4 March, announced that it will not be contesting the West Bengal Assembly elections and will stand in solidarity with Mamata Banerjee.

In a tweet, Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said, “A lot of people are curious to know whether Shivsena is contesting West Bengal polls or not? So here’s the update after discussions with Party President Uddhav ji 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, Shivsena has decided not to Contest West Bengal polls & stand in solidarity with her. We wish Mamata Didi a ‘roaring’ success, ‘cos we believe She is the real Bengal Tigress!! (sic)”

Shiv Sena had earlier contested the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal in 2019. In 2016, Shiv Sena had contested on 21 seats in the West Bengal Assembly polls but received 0.09 percent of the vote share.

The Battle for West Bengal

The West Bengal Assembly election will be held from 27 March to 29 April in eight phases. The key players in the elections are the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress-Left alliance.

In the 2016 Legislative Assembly elections, the AITC won a two-thirds majority with 211 seats. The Congress won 44 seats and the Left Front won 33 seats, while the BJP won only three of the 294 seats.

However, the BJP has gained at the expense of the Left Front, witnessing an increase in its vote share from 6.1 percent in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections to 40.6 percent in 2019.

During the same period, the Left Front’s vote share declined from 43.3 to 7.5 percent.

The ABP-C-Voter opinion poll shows that the Trinamool Congress will get 43 percent vote share, BJP 38 percent, the Congress-Left alliance (Mahajot) 13 percent, while others will pick up 6 percent.

Though the Shiv Sena was an ally in the BJP-led NDA government in the 2019 Parliamentary elections, following the Maharashtra Assembly polls, both the parties had a falling out.

The party, led by Uddhav Thackeray, formed an alliance with the NCP and the Congress to form the government in Maharashtra.

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