DISSIDENT BJP leader from Birbhum, Doodh Kumar Mondal, who had resigned as the party district president last year, is set to contest as a BJP candidate in the Assembly elections beginning April 4.
“I can tell you that Doodh Kumar Mondal will be given a ticket,” state BJP president Dilip Ghosh told mediapersons at an event where a number of members of INTUC — Congress-supported labourers’ union — joined the BJP.
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A known detractor of former state party chief Rahul Sinha, Doodh Kumar had earlier claimed he would retire from active politics. In recent times, speculations were afoot that he would join the ruling Trinamool Congress.
When contacted, he said: “I had never said that I will not abide by party rules. I had said I would retire from active politics but senior leaders of the party requested me to return and I respected their request.”
Asked if things have improved in the party with Dilip Ghosh taking over from Sinha, he added: “I have nothing personal against Rahul Sinha. I had protested against things that I thought were not right. Even now if I find something amiss, I will be the first one to protest.”
Birbhum Trinamool president Anubrata Mondal had once fuelled speculations that Doodh Kumar would defect to the ruling party, saying that talks in this regard were almost final. He had also termed Doodh Kumar joining Trinamool as his “home coming’.
On Tuesday, Anubrata, however, claimed: “There had once been a talk about him joining the Trinamool… but that is a thing of the past. It is not a probability anymore. I don’t know if he is contesting as a BJP candidate but surely he is not joining the Trinamool.”
Ghosh, meanwhile, said BJP would contest all the 294 Assembly seats in Bengal and a list of candidates has been sent to the party high command for approval.
“A meeting will be held in Delhi tomorrow… at least, the first list may be announced,” he added.
On media reports that senior BJP leaders like Roopa Ganguly and Locket Chatterjee were not too keen on contesting the polls, Ghosh said: “All would contest. The constituencies have not been decided but they would contest, that is for sure.”
It was learnt that several leaders who had recently joined BJP would be given tickets. Chandra Kumar Bose, grandnephew Subhas Chandra Bose, is likely to contest from Bhabanipur against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. When asked, Ghosh did not confirm that Bose would be pitched from Bhabanipur.