Shiv Sena to Contest 15 Seats in West Bengal

Experts say that the Hindu votes the BJP is trying to consolidate might get divided if the Sena is in the fray.

1 min read
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray addresses a press conference in Mumbai, on 4 December 2018. 

The Shiv Sena – a partner in the NDA – has decided to field candidates in 15 seats in West Bengal. All the candidates will be “Hindus” the party announced in Kolkata.

The Sena’s Bengal General-Secretary Ashok Sarkar announced on Thursday, 28 March, that his party will take on both the BJP and Trinamool in the seats of Calcutta South, Dum Dum, Basirhat, Barasat, Barrackpore, Jadavpur, Midnapore, Contai, Birbhum, Bolpur, Bankura, Bishnupur, Purulia, Murshidabad and Malda North.

Sarkar is a former member of the Bengal BJP who was expelled from the party. He is known to have differences with the BJP’s Bengal President Dilip Ghosh.

The party has announced names of 11 candidates already and will announce four more later.

“Ours will be only Hindu candidates. The BJP came to power beating the Hindutva drum, but it has lost its way. We will save Hindutva in Bengal,” said Sarkar in a press meet.

Political observers in West Bengal say that while the Shiv Sena has no presence in Bengal, its entry into the electoral race may help Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress as the “Hindu” votes of the BJP might get divided.

Banerjee is also known to have cordial relations with Shiv Sena supremos – the Thackerays.

In the 2016 West Bengal Assembly elections, the Sena had contested from 21 seats and all its candidates forfeited their deposits. The party had received a total of 49,218 votes in the 21 seats, with a vote share of 0.09 percent.

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