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Shiv Sena out of Bengal polls, to back Mamata

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By Quaid Najmi Mumbai, March 4 : The Shiv Sena has decided to opt out of the upcoming West Bengal Assembly elections, but the party has decided to ‘wholeheartedly’ support All India Trinamool Congress leader and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a top official said here on Thursday.
Sena MP and Chief Spokesperson Sanjay Raut said that since the West Bengal polls are turning out to be “Didi vs All”, the Shiv Sena has decided not to contest the elections, but will stand in solidarity with her.
“Looking at the present scenario, it appears like a ‘Didi vs All’ fight. All M’s – Money, Muscle and Media – are being used against Mamata Didi. We wish her a ‘roaring success’, because we believe she is the real ‘Bengal Tigress’!” said Raut.
He said that the decision was taken after discussions with Shiv Sena President and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
However, MVA sources said the move could have been prompted to ensure that there is no division of votes in the West Bengal polls that could damage Trinamool’s prospects vis-a-vis the BJP as the Sena was tentatively planning to contest around 60 seats.
As part of its strategy to acquire an all-India presence, in January, the Sena had announced plans to sound the poll bugle in West Bengal where it had contested the 2016 Assembly and 2019 Lok Sabha polls, but notched nil in terms of seats.

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