The BJP on Sunday announced its list of candidates for the upcoming West Bengal Assembly polls with Union Minister Babul Supriyo, actor Locket Chatterjee, MP Swapan Dasgupta and former Chief Economic Advisor to the Indian government, Ashok Kumar Lahiri, fielded as candidates.
Singer-turned-politician Supriyo is a junior minister in the Narendra Modi government, while Dasgupta is a Rajya Sabha MP. Supriyo will contest the assembly polls from Tollygunge in Kolkata, the hub for the Bengali film industry. Locket Chatterjee will try her luck from Chinsurah in Hooghly district. She had won the last Lok Sabha polls from Hooghly parliamentary constituency. Journalist-turned-politician Dasgupta has been fielded from Tarkeshwar, also in Hooghly district. Lahiri will be the BJP’s candidate from the Alipurduar assembly seat.
Parliamentarian Nisith Pramanik will contest from Dinhata In Cooch Behar, meaning that the saffron has now fielded four MPs to contest assembly polls.
The Trinamool took a potshot at the BJP accusing the party of lacking credible faces since it had fielded four sitting MPs to contest assembly elections. TMC MP Mahua Moitra tweeted, “Loving this slow unfolding of the WB BJP Candidate List soap opera. When “largest global political party” lacks enough faces & strength to announce 294 names in one go for a state it claims it will sweep!”
Another TMC MP, Derek O’Brien, tweeted, “Has the world’s most destructive political party got their khaki knickers in a twist before #BengalElections #KhelaHobe ?Bring it on.”
Reacting to the news of his candidature, Dasgupta tweeted, “Honoured to be nominated by the West Bengal BJP to contest from Tarakeshwar—a centre of Bengal’s cultural heritage. I look forward to the campaign for a new, vibrant Sonar Bangla.”
The list of 27 candidates also includes Yash Dasgupta from Chanditala, actor Payel Sarkar from Behala East in Kolkata and actor Tanusree Chakraborty from Shyampur in Howrah district.
Bengal goes to polls in eight stages from 27 March with the counting of votes scheduled for 2 May. Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is seeking a third term in office. The BJP, on the other hand, is desperately trying to wrest the power from Banerjee to form its first-ever government in West Bengal.
The BJP has managed to cause a largescale defection from the Trinamool Congress ahead of the polls. Veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty, who was earlier loyal to Mamata Banerjee, recently joined the BJP declaring himself as a ‘pure cobra.’
Banerjee had recently claimed that she was attacked by a group of goons, forcing her to be admitted to a hospital in Kolkata. She has resumed campaigning for her party but been forced to remain wheelchair-bound.