'Real Bengal Tigress': Sena drops plan of contesting Bengal election, expresses solidarity with Mamata Banerjee

Months after declaring that it will contest the West Bengal assembly election, Shiv Sena on Thursday announced that it will not contest the assembly polls in the state.

Taking to Twitter Shiv Sena MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut informed about the update. In his post, he wrote, "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.(sic)"

Looking at the present scenario, Raut added that "it appears like a 'Didi Vs All' fight" in the West Bengal.

"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)," he added.

In January 2021, Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena had announced its plans to contest the 2021 West Bengal assembly polls.

Shiv Sena is currently a part of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition with Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra. Uddhav Thackeray, Bal Thackeray's son, is party leader and serves as the current chief minister of the state.

Although the party's primary base is still in Maharashtra, it has tried to expand to a pan-Indian base.

On February 26, the Election Commission of India announced that West Bengal will witness eight-phased Assembly polls beginning March 27.

The Election Commission of India on Friday announced that West Bengal will witness eight-phased Assembly polls beginning March 27.

West Bengal Election 2021 will take part in 8 phases.

Phase 1: March 27, 2021

Phase 2: April 1, 2021

Phase 3: April 6, 2021

Phase 4: April 10, 2021

Phase 5: April 17, 2021

Phase 6: April 22, 2021

Phase 7: April 26, 2021

Phase 8: April 29, 2021

The tenure of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will end on May 30 this year.

West Bengal is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and BJP in the fray.

While Mamata Banerjee is seeking her third consecutive term, BJP has set a target of winning 200 seats in the 294-member state Assembly. Congress and the Left have stitched the alliance for the polls and had already finalised the seat-sharing agreement. They are also in touch with the Indian Secular Front (ISF), recently floated by influential minority leader Abbas Siddique.

In 2016, West Bengal Assembly elections, out of the 294 seats, Congress had managed to win 44 seats while the Left Front bagged 33 seats. The ruling TMC secured 211 seats and the BJP had won 3 seats.

The BJP made deep inroads in the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections winning 18 seats and decimating TMC's tally to 22. Out of the total 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal, Congress won two seats, the Left drew a blank.

After BJP's performance in the 2019 polls, several TMC leaders have joined the party led by JP Nadda.

(With inputs from ANI)

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