The BJP on Saturday announced its first list of 57 candidates for the high octane Assembly elections in West Bengal, which will be held in eight phases from March 27 to April 29.
For the prestigious Nandigram Assembly seat in East Midnapore from where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting, the BJP has fielded her former close aide Suvendu Adhikari.
Nandigram is a stronghold of Adhikari, who was elected on a Trinamool ticket from the high profile seat in 2016 before he became a minister in the Mamata Banerjee-led state Cabinet. Adhikari had joined the saffron brigade in December last year. The rebel Trinamool leader had claimed earlier that he will defeat Banerjee by over 50,000 votes.
The BJP has fielded former India cricketer Ashok Dinda from the Moyna Assembly constituency in East Midnapore, while ex-IPS officer Bharati Ghosh will contest on a BJP ticket from Debra in West Midnapore. Dinda and Ghosh recently joined the BJP.
BJP National General Secretary Arun Singh released the names of the party candidates for 57 Assembly constituencies out of the 60 seats that will go to the polls in the first two phases on March 27 and April 1.
“Of the 57 seats, one in Baghmundi has been given to alliance partner All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU),” Singh said. The BJP did not form an alliance with Sudesh Mahto’s AJSU during the Jharkhand Assembly polls in 2019.
Singh said that AJSU has supported the party on several occasions and that is why the party has decided to give one seat to it in West Bengal.
He further said that names of BJP candidates for three remaining seats going to the polls in the first two phases will be announced soon.
The first list of 56 BJP candidates includes six women — Sunita Singha from Kanthi Uttar, Sonali Murmu from Keshiary (ST), Chandana Bauri from Saltora (SC), Tapashi Mondal from Haldia (SC), Antara Bhattacharya from Pingla and former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh from Debra.
Announcing the list, Singh said that a wave of ‘Poribortan’ (change) is clearly visible in West Bengal.
“There is a wave of change visible across the state against the misrule, corruption, jungleraj and dictatorship of the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool government,” he said.
The 294-member Bengal Assembly will go to the polls in eight phases — on March 27, April 1, 6, 10, 17, 22, 26 and 29. The results will be declared on May 2.