Alliance With BJP Did Not Let Sena Expand Base In Maha: Sanjay Raut

Panaji: Shiv Sena’s 25-year long alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party in Maharashtra did not allow it to expand its base in the state, its Rajya Sabha member and national spokesperson Sanjay Raut said on Friday.

Addressing a press conference here, he also said that the party would contest between 22-25 seats in the Goa Assembly polls which are scheduled to be held in early 2022.

“All this while, we focussed on alliances. In Maharashtra, our leader and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had to concede that we could not expand our base because of the alliance for 25 years,” he said.

Raut, who is in-charge of party affairs in Goa, is here to oversee the Sena’s election campaign for the 2022 polls.

“Even in Goa, we used to opt for alliances… that is why we could not expand. That is why we have decided that we will contest 22 to 25 seats in Goa on our own strength,” he said.

The Sena has contested Assembly elections in the past, but performed poorly. In 2017, it contested on three seats in alliance with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and the Goa Suraksha Manch, but lost all three.

Asked about the resurgent Aam Aadmi Party and the re-entry of West Bengal-based Trinamool Congress in Goa ahead of the polls, Raut said that Goa was in the midst of a “political carnival”.

“There is a political carnival in Goa. Goa has become a laboratory for everyone. Someone comes from West Bengal, others come from Delhi to contest elections. Anyone can contest elections in Goa. But Goa and Maharashtra have an emotional relationship. It has always been that way,” Raut said.

(IANS)