Defying Maharashtra Unit, Bengal Shiv Sena Plans To Fight Polls Without Any Alliance

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Kolkata: Though the Shiv Sena, which is in power in Maharashtra with its alliance partners, the Congress and National Congress Party (NCP), has decided to support Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) for the West Bengal Assembly elections, there remains a twist.

The state unit of the party is not ready to accept the verdict of the party bosses in Mumbai.

Initially, the Shiv Sena had decided to contest the Assembly polls in Bengal solo, it took a U-turn and agreed to support the ruling TMC instead. Shiv Sena MP, Sanjay Raut said the party has decided to support Mamata Didi in Bengal with all its might. “We wish her a roaring success ‘cos we believe she is the real Bengal Tigress,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, the Bengal unit of the right-wing party has prepared a list of candidates it plans to put up in the fray for the Assembly polls.

It may be worth mentioning that Maharashtra strongman and NCP chief Sharad Pawar had already stood by the Bengal chief minister in her fight with the BJP and other forces. The Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) Tejaswi Yadav along with Akhilesh Singh of the Samajwadi Party (SP), too, have lent their support to Mamata Banerjee in her fight against the might of the BJP. The twist in the tale is that the West Bengal unit of the Shiv Sena plans to put up a fight.

Talking about their plans, Bengal unit chief of Shiv Sena, Ashok Sarkar said, “The leaders in Mumbai did not consult us before making the statement to support Didi. We will also contest and will fight for 52 seats. We are putting up our candidates to fight elections. It is neither to support anyone nor going against anyone.”

Asked that this would mean active defiance of their bosses in Maharashtra, Sarkar said, “They never have visited West Bengal, neither do they know the ground realities here and nor do they fund us properly. We will give candidates for elections so that the people in the state know that we exist in Bengal. We have to make our presence felt in Bengal if we need to grow.”

Nandigram has become the focal point for polls in Bengal as the chief minister has decided to contest the elections from here instead of her own constituency of Bhowanipur. Local strongman and popular leader Suvendu Adhikari is also slated to contest on a BJP ticket from the same constituency. Sources also say that Indian Secular Front chief Abbas Siddiqui may contest from the constituency too. So, is the Shiv Sena also planning to pitch its candidate from Nandigram? “No, we do not plan to do so,” replied Sarkar.

It remains to be seen if Bengal Shiv Sena’s move is going to aid or hurt the ruling party during the polls.

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