The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena has decided to contest the 2021 West Bengal Legislative Assembly Elections, slated to be held later this year.
Veteran party leader Sanjay Raut said that the decision was taken after extensive discussions with Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray.
"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!" Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut tweeted on this day.
Notably, the party broke its decades-old ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after the Maharashtra elections in October 2019, claiming promises were not kept by its alliance partner.
It will be interesting to see how the development reflects on the election scenario in West Bengal, where the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) is waging a bitter war against the imperturbable BJP to secure foothold in the state.
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.
However, it is to be noted that the Shiv Sena had recently been severely lambasted by the BJP over the former's flop show in the 2020 Bihar Assembly Elections. Although the Sena had fielded as many as 22 candidates in the state, the party managed to get only 0.05% of the votes, even less than the NOTA (None of the Above) voting option, which was opted for by 1.68% of the voters.
Shiv Sena had also hinted at 'branching out' to Delhi in the future, although there's near to none party presence or organisational activity in the national capital.