The Shiv Sena said on Sunday that it will take part in the the hotly contested Assembly elections in West Bengal this year. The announcement was made by Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Twitter.
Raut, who is also the editor of the party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, said, "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, জয় বাংলা !"
The party had contested the recently held Bihar elections, but did not manage to win many votes. The Sena’s plank for the elections in West Bengal is going to be its traditional stand of Hindutva.
While Raut did not specify the number of seats the Sena will contest in West Bengal, he said a meeting was underway to discuss the nitty-gritties of the contest. "All I can say is discussion with Uddhav Thackeray ji has been done. And we will go to West Bengal soon," he said.
Elections to the 294-member state assembly are due in April-May. The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government's term gets over by May-end. The BJP is going all out in its bid to dislodge the ruling camp in the state, while the Congress is working out a seat-sharing arrangement with the Left Front that had been overthrown by Banerjee’s party after a 34-year-old rule in 2011.
The Sena is in power in Maharashtra along with the NCP and Congress under the aegis of Maha Vikas Aghadi.