Ahmedabad, November 13: The Shiv Sena, an old ally of the BJP, has decided to contest the Gujarat assembly elections and will field its candidates from 50-75 seats, a senior party leader said.
The Maharashtra based powerful outfit also maintained that it will not enter into an alliance with any party in Gujarat, including the BJP. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party had contested 40 seats in the 2012 assembly elections in Gujarat but failed to open its account in the state where the BJP has been in power for over 20 years. The state has 182 assembly seats.
Senior Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai told reporters that the party’s national executive has decided to contest the assembly polls in Gujarat. “The party’s national executive met recently and decided that we will contest the Gujarat assembly elections. After consulting our leaders here, we have decided to field candidates from 50-75 seats,” he said.
Desai said the party has presence in several pockets of the state, especially where the population of Marathi-speaking people is high, like south Gujarat. Apart from south Gujarat, the party will contest in Saurashtra and Kutch regions, he said.
He said the party will stick to its core Hindutva ideology to attract voters and not enter into any kind of pact with either the ruling BJP or any other party. The Sena and the BJP are partners in the ruling coalitions at the centre and in Maharashtra. “We are an alternative and we do not need to partner with the BJP for the Gujarat elections. We will contest polls on our core Hindutva ideology plank,” Desai said.