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Bengal polls: In message to dissenters, BJP goes with senior names, defectors

Of the total 294 seats, the BJP has now announced candidates for 282, while leaving one seat for the AJSU (Baghmundi in Purulia district). The names of 11 candidates will be announced later.

Written by Santanu Chowdhury , Edited by Explained Desk | Kolkata |
Updated: March 19, 2021 11:19:50 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president JP Nadda attend the party's Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting for West Bengal state Assembly elections, at party HQ in New Delhi, Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (PTI Photo/ Vijay Verma)

The BJP Wednesday released names of its candidates for 148 of the 159 Assembly seats in West Bengal which will go to poll in the last four phases of the eight-phase election. The party also announced the pending names for the eight constituencies that will vote in the fourth phase on April 10 and changed its candidate in one seat.

Of the total 294 seats, the BJP has now announced candidates for 282, while leaving one seat for the AJSU (Baghmundi in Purulia district). The names of 11 candidates will be announced later.

BJP fourth list, bengal bjp list, West Bengal assembly elections, Rudrani ghosh, Parno Mitra, Rahul Sinha, indian express (From left to right) Rahul Sinha, Mukul Roy, Rudranil Ghosh and Agnimitra Paul. (File Photo)

Emphasis on senior party leaders

By giving tickets to senior leaders such as Mukul Roy, Rahul Sinha and Samik Bhattacharya, the BJP is trying to send a message to the party’s rank and file to stop the infighting. After candidate lists for the third and fourth phases were announced, party workers staged protests outside the BJP office in Kolkata demanding a change. Several old-timers even quit the party in protest. By picking senior names to lead the party from the front, the BJP hopes these protests will end.

Inclusion of people from all walks of life

Like previous candidate lists, the BJP has this time too tried a find balance among candidates. From actors to footballers, people from all walks of society are featured. Popular actors Srabanti Chatterjee, Rudranil Ghosh and Parno Mitra have got tickets, as well as former Indian footballer Kalyan Choubey, scientist Gorbardhan Das and scholar Anirban Ganguly.

17 defectors get a ticket

The party has once again taken a huge risk by giving tickets to a large number of defectors. Out of the 17 defectors to be fielded, most of them sitting MLAs, 15 crossed over from the Trinamool and one each from the Congress and CPM. Previous protests in the BJP were aimed mostly at TMC turncoats who were made party candidates, overlooking the contribution of old-timers. It remains to be seen how party workers will react to these new 17 names.

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