Mumbai: A day after strongly defending opposition unity to take on Modi government on various issues including national security, the Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday announced that the party will fight the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh independently. "Even though NCP, Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal are forming an alliance, why Shiv Sena should give support to it,” he asked. "We wish good luck for NCP, SP and RJD. However, Shiv Sena will contest the ensuing UP assembly elections independently based on its strength there,’’ said Raut.
Shiv Sena despite sharing power with BJP during 2014-19, had contested 50 seats in UP but failed to open its account. Shiv Sena insiders said the party will announces the number of seats on which it will field candidates after due discussion with party president and Maharashtra chief minister.
Shiv Sena is expected to take on BJP on the Hindutva issue. Thackeray has repeated said that the party has not left Hindutva. ‘’BJP does not have a patent on Hindutva and that people now want an alternative ruling party in the country.
“When I went to Ayodhya after becoming the Chief Minister, I said I have parted ways from the BJP and not from Hindutva. BJP does not have a patent on Hindutva, Thackeray had said.
Shiv Sena had contested Bihar assembly polls in 2020 but party candidates lost their deposits while in West Bengal the party backtracked from fighting the assembly polls to avoid division of votes. Shiv Sena supported Mamata Banerjee in her spirited fight against BJP.
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