Kolkata, March 18: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had released the list of 148 candidates for phases 5-8 for Bengal Assembly election on Thursday. BJP releases candidate list for fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth phases.
The party threw a few surprises in the candidate list especially with the announcement of Bengali actor Rudranil Ghosh contesting from chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s hometurf Bhawanipore in South Kolkata.
BJP releases candidate list, Mukul Roy to contest
Senior BJP leader and party’s national vice-president Mukul Roy, who was once a key leader of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and close aide of Mamata, will contest the polls from the Krishnanagar Uttar seat. He has been pitted against TMC’s Koushani Mukherjee, a Bengali actress.
The other prominent faces that feature in the BJP list include Rahul Sinha and Asim Sarkar.
Besides them, the list also has 11 MLAs and one MP.
BJP releases candidate list, Rudranil Ghosh gets Bhawanipore
After Bengali actor Rudranil Ghosh joined BJP, there were talks within the party that he might be fielded from Howrah given it’s his hometown.
However, on Thursday, the party announced his name for Bhawanipore constituency, the bastion of Mamata Banerjee, which she handed over to TMC leader Sovandeb Chattopadhyay.
Mamata will contest the Assembly polls from Nandigram against TMC turncoat Suvendu Adhikari. So, it goes without saying that BJP is heavily relying on the TMC turncoat.
Actor Rudranil Ghosh was all smiles when he found his name on the list.
“I will consult my seniors how to proceed further.” Meanwhile, fashion-designer –turned BJP leader Agnimitra Paul was happy that she has been chosen from Asansol Dakshin, as she has grown up in the area. She will contest the election against TMC’s Saayoni Ghosh.
Dissent in BJP
Soon after the announcement of the names, many of the candidates have expressed their reservations to contest the election.
Shikha Mitra Choudhuri, candidate from Chourangee, was not at all happy after the list was out. She said, “I will let the party higher authority know that I’m not willing to contest the elections. They never consulted me before the list was finalised.”
Tarun Saha, candidate from Kashipur in Belgachia, too, showed his displeasure. He sounded surprised. “I’m not a member of the party. How can they include my name,” he said.
Political analysts pointed out that the dissent will be difficult to address and will send out a negative image of the party.
Even in suburbs and the districts like Malda, Durgapur, Jagaddal, BJP workers ransacked party offices, showing their dissent over the selection of candidates.
Meanwhile, Sourav Sikdar, one of the youth leaders from Asansol resigned from his post.
“I think the party has no use of me. I’m pained by the developments in the party in the recent times. The violence in the party office is not what I had dreamt of. My uncle, Tapan Sikdar, was the first MP from Bengal,” he said.
The second list was announced from New Delhi BJP office by MoS for woman and child development and MP Debashree Chaudhuri from Raiganj.
The list was finalised in the meeting of the central election committee, under the leadership of party president J.P. Nadda in New Delhi. The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadhkari, among other members of the committee.
Before the names were announced for the assembly election in New Delhi on Thursday, actor Arun Govil of Ramayana fame joined the saffron camp.
“I believe in destiny. For everything in life, there is a time. I thought this is the right time to join the party.”
The list has some of the prominent names:
· Mukul Roy (Krishnanagar Dakshin)
· Rahul Sinha (Habra)
· Samik Bhattacharya (Rajarhat-Gopalpur)
· Actor Rudranil Ghosh (Bhowanipur)
· Fashion designer Agnimitra Paul (Asansol Dakshin)
· Actress Parno Mitra (Baranagar)
· Footballer Kalyan Choube (Maniktala)
· Shubrangshu Roy (Bijpur)
· Sabyasachi Dutta (Bidhannagar)