BJP rewards 20 turncoats in the list of 148 candidates for West Bengal

KOLKATA: In the list of 148 candidates for the last four phases of the assembly elections in West Bengal, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rewarded around 20 turncoats many of whom had jumped ship from Trinamool Congress, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress Party.

Among the 148 candidates named by the party are senior BJP leaders Mukul Roy and Rahul Sinha, Roy's son Subranghshu, a sitting Trinamool Congress MLA, state BJP Mahila Morcha president Agnimitra Paul, film personalities Rudranil Ghosh, Srabanti Chattopadhyay and Parno Mitra.

However, the release of the list of candidates provoked a fresh round of protests by the BJP workers in several districts further aggravating the rift between old-timers and newcomers in the West Bengal BJP.

On March 15, dozens of BJP workers held an all-day protest outside the party’s election office in Hastings, South Kolkata in protest against the party fielding turncoats as BJP candidates for the assembly elections. 

They shouted slogans and tried to enter the party office by breaking the barricades, and even heckled Mukul Roy and other senior party leaders.  BJP workers have even vandalised party offices in Hooghly’s Chinsura, North 24-Parganas, Jalpaiguri, Paschim Bardhaman and Malda districts over the selection of candidates. 

While some party office bearers also resigned in protest, BJP workers also demanded a change in the candidate at several districts like Singur, Bhabanipur, Behala Purba, Kalchini, Durgapur Purba, Jalpaiguri and Harishchandrapur assembly constituencies.

Even as a section of the party is protesting against the candidates nominated by BJP, in a sort of embarrassment to the party there were some in the list who refused the tickets and have said that they had never asked for the tickets in the first place.

Congress leader Sikha Mitra the wife of former state Congress president Somen Mitra and Tarun Saha husband of Trinamool Congress MLA Mala Saha both said that had not asked for BJP tickets and were are firm with their own parties.

BJP has already nominated big names like Union minister Babul Supriyo, Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta (who resigned from the Upper House on Tuesday) to contest the high-stakes state election.


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