BJP’s latest list of candidates for West Bengal full of surprises

Reacting to the BJP's list of candidates, TMC leader Kunal Ghosh mocked the delay in releasing the full list and expressed surprise at Dilip Ghosh's candidature from Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha seat.

Kolkata: The BJP surprised many with its latest list of Lok Sabha candidates for West Bengal, nominating a protester from Sandeshkhali for the Basirhat constituency and changing the seats of its two incumbent MPs — the party’s former state chief Dilip Ghosh and ex-Union minister Debasree Chowdhury.

Former Calcutta High Court judge Abhijit Ganguly, who joined the BJP recently, was nominated from the Tamluk Lok Sabha seat, a stronghold of BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari and his family.

The incumbent MP from Barrackpore, Arjun Singh, who returned to the BJP this month after defecting to the Trinamool Congress two years ago, was re-nominated from the same seat.

MS Education Academy

The BJP named 19 candidates in the list released on Sunday, taking the total number of its nominees announced for West Bengal so far to 38. The state sends 42 MPs to the Lok Sabha.

One of the most significant choices of the party has been Rekha Patra, a housewife from the troubled region of Sandeshkhali, who has been nominated for the Basirhat seat.

The candidature of Patra, reportedly a victim of torture by now-suspended TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh and his associates, is seen as a strong statement on the part of the BJP in support of the women of Sandeshkhali and West Bengal.

Sheikh, a key accused in sexual assault and land grab charges in Sandeshkhali, was arrested last month in connection with an assault on Enforcement Directorate officers on January 5.

In a post on X, Amit Malviya, the party’s West Bengal co-in-charge, said, “The BJP has fielded Rekha Patra from Basirhat in Bengal. She is one of the victims of Sandeshkhali, who suffered at the hands of Sheikh Shahjahan.”

“Let Mamata Banerjee wipe the tears of women like her, who are suffering in silence, and are subject to her apathy before she asks for their vote. A strong statement that @BJP4Bengal stands with the women of Sandeshkhali and Bengal,” he added.

Another surprise in the BJP’s list of candidates was removing Dilip Ghosh from the Medinipur Lok Sabha seat, considered his stronghold, and assigning him the task of contesting from the Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha seat. The Trinamool Congress has fielded former cricketer Kirti Azad in the seat.

Similarly, former Union minister Debasree Chowdhury was shifted from her Raiganj Lok Sabha seat to the South Kolkata constituency, the stronghold of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Reacting to these changes, Ghosh said, “Whenever the party thinks there is a tough task ahead, it assigns the job to me. Now, I will try my best to win the Bardhaman-Durgapur seat.”

On the other hand, Chowdhury said, “I will abide by whatever the party has decided. I always fought against heavyweight leaders. I am a loyal worker of the party.”

However, the re-nomination of Raju Bista from the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat stirred discontent, with party MLA Bishnu Prasad Sharma expressing dissatisfaction over nominating an “outsider” for the hills.

Sharma criticized the party for repeatedly choosing candidates with no local ties to the Darjeeling hills, stating, “We wanted a son of the soil from the seat. But the party again decided to give him the ticket. The people will give a reply.”

Jayanta Ray was re-nominated in Jalpaiguri while and former TMC leader Tapas Ray, who recently joined the BJP, got the ticket for the Kolkata North constituency.

Amrita Roy, who belongs to the royal family of Krishnanagar, has been nominated for the Krishnanagar seat and will take on TMC’s Mahua Moitra.

Reacting to the BJP’s list of candidates, TMC leader Kunal Ghosh mocked the delay in releasing the full list and expressed surprise at Dilip Ghosh’s candidature from Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha seat.

“It is quite astonishing that the BJP is yet to release its full list of candidates. It is really shocking to see the way the party is treating Dilip Ghosh, its most successful state president,” Ghosh said.

Back to top button