West Bengal Assembly polls 2021: Uddhav Thackeray in the ring with 'Bengal Tigress' Mamata Banerjee
Photo: ANI

Mumbai: Maharashtra’s Tiger has decided to stand with the Bengal Tigress and support her fight against the BJP. The Shiv Sena has dropped its ‘Jai Bangla’ plans to jump into the assembly poll fray in West Bengal.

Sena MP Sanjay Raut announced that the party would not contest the forthcoming elections in West Bengal, where its former ally BJP has made it a point of prestige to oust Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee.

Raut said, “A lot of people are curious to know whether the Shiv Sena is contesting West Bengal polls or not? So here’s the update, after discussions with party president Uddhavji Thackeray,” he declared.

He further tweeted, “In the present scenario, it appears like a Didi vs All fight. All Ms - money, muscle and media are being used against ‘M’amata Didi. Hence, the Shiv Sena has decided not to contest the West Bengal polls but stand in solidarity with her. We wish Mamata Didi ‘roaring’ success, because we believe she is the real Bengal Tigress.”

Earlier, Raut had declared that the Shiv Sena would contest elections in West Bengal as part of its plan to increase its pan-India presence. But the party’s refusal to contest the WB polls is yet another indicator of the Shiv Sena’s readiness to take on the BJP and Thackeray’s ability to bring non-BJP parties and forces together.

As such, the Shiv Sena has no presence in West Bengal but the party believes that it could tackle its erstwhile ally BJP on the Hindutva issue, which the latter has already planned to scale up in its high-octane campaign.

The bonhomie between Thackeray and Mamata is known. During her visit to Mumbai in November 2017, Thackeray, despite sharing power with the BJP, had met her at a five-star hotel in the city. The common thread binding them is their both having been at loggerheads with the BJP and the Narendra Modi government on a host of issues, including demonetisation.

Further, at the virtual meeting of opposition chief ministers with Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi held on August 26, 2020, after Thackeray asked the other six CMs, “Humein darna hai ya ladna hai? (Fright or fight?)”. Banerjee had replied, “Ladna hai (we must fight).” She had also showered praise on Thackeray, saying he had been doing a great job especially during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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