West Bengal polls: Babul Supriyo, Locket Chatterjee among BJP’s new list of candidates
Express News Service
KOLKATA: In an attempt to create massive wave in its favour ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections, the BJP announced candidate list for 63 seats, which will go to the polls in third and fourth phase, fielding four sitting MPs, four TMC turncoat MLAs, including a minister, and four actors. The BJP fielded three MPs in south Bengal seats as the saffron camp is focused to secure victory in this region after making deep inroads in north Bengal by bagging seven out of eight Lok Sabha seats.
Earlier, the BJP announced candidate list for 59 seats which go to the polls on March 27.
Among the candidates, most significant are Union minister and Asansol MP Babul Supriyo for Tollygunge constituency in Kolkata, Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta for Tarakeshwar, Hooghly MP Locket Chatterjee for Chinsurah and Nisith Pramanik for Dinhata.
Supriyo’s candidature from Tollygunge, a place known for hosting Bengali film industry, is said to be a smart move as chief minister Mamata Banerjee, while announcing party’s candidate list, had hinted that she might contest from Tollygunge besides Nandigram.
Dasgupta’s constituency is a known as a popular Hindu pilgrimage site in Hooghly district his candidature there is significant in the backdrop of BJP’s Hindutva rhetoric. Dasgupta is rumoured to be one of the party contenders for the chief ministerial post if the party wrests power in Bengal. Though the BJP has not yet announced any chief ministerial face, the names of Dasgupta and state president Dilip Ghosh have been doing the rounds.
Former minister in Mamata’s cabinet Rajib Banerjee has been fielded from his own constituency Domjur in Howrah and octogenarian TMC turncoat, Rabindranath Bhattacharya, who was denied ticket, from Singur. Four-time MLA Bhattacharya joined the BJP two days after Mamata announced candidate list axing him for his advanced age.
In an embarrassing situation, BJP supporters in Singur expressed their discontent over the issue of Bhattacharya’s candidature. They locked the Madhya Pradesh health minister, who came to Bengal for campaign, in a party office demanding Bhattacharya’s removal from the candidate list.
Two other TMC turncoat MLAs, Dipak Haldar and Prabir Ghoshal will contest from their own constituencies which are Diamond Harbour and Uttarpara respectively.
The saffron camp fielded four Bengali film actors, Yash Dasgupta, Anjana Basu, Payel Sarkar and Tanushree Chakrabarty. When Anjana and Payel have been fielded in South 24-Pargaans district, Tanushree will contest in a Howrah seat and Yash in Hooghly.
One of the candidates, Rantideb Sengupta, who has been fielded from Howrah Dakshin, said he would not contest for personal issues. “I want to engage myself in the party’s organisational activities, instead of contesting in elections,” he said.