Shiv Sena is all set to fight this Lok Sabha elections in Bengal. The party will field 15 candidates, said Ashok Sarkar, Sena state General Secretary.
“We have declared the names of 11 candidates and will announce four more names. We will fight from 15 constituencies,” Sarkar told The Indian Express.
Alleging that the BJP is fooling people in the name of Hindutva, Sarkar said, “BJP is not a Hindutva party. It is a private limited company where they set target to gain stronghold in the states and the state representatives fulfil their targets. Hindutva for them is an eyewash to woo voters,” said Sarkar.
Taking a dig at BJP, Sarkar said the BJP has no future in Bengal and claimed that those who have been given ticket by BJP this time are mostly “scrap material of CPI(M) and TMC”. “BJP is full of failed leaders of TMC and CPM. It is just an extension of Trinamool,” he said.
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The 15 seats where the Sena will field its candidates are Calcutta South, Dum Dum, Basirhat, Barasat, Barrackpore, Jadavpur, Midnapore, Contai, Birbhum, Bolpur, Bankura, Bishnupur, Purulia, Murshidabad and Malda North. The candidates for Purulia, Bankura, Murshidabad and Nadia will be declared on Saturday.
In the 2016 Bengal Assembly elections, the Sena had contested 21 seats and had received a total of 49,218 votes. Its vote share was 0.09 per cent.
The entry of Shiv Sena in Lok Sabha election in Bengal may affect BJP in some seats. If that happens, it will benefit Trinamool. Their objective is to spread Hindutva and minimise the BJP’s gains in West Bengal.
When asked about an alliance with the BJP in Maharashtra, Sarkar said, “Maharashtra is another state, Bengal’s equation is different…”
BJP state general secretary Sayantan Basu, however, said: “They will not be able to get more than 500 votes in any seat.”