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BJP candidates' list: Hundreds stage protest, heckle senior leaders; one attempts suicide

BJP candidates list: Hundreds stage protest, heckle senior leaders; one attempts suicide
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Kolkata: After BJP announced its candidates' list, factional feud in the party came to the fore as hundreds of party supporters staged demonstrations outside its office at Hastings on Monday. The infighting took a dramatic turn in Chinsurah, where a BJP leader attempted suicide to protest against the nomination of Locket Chatterjee. Protesters also vandalised the BJP office there.

The mob, allegedly, also heckled some senior leaders like Mukul Roy, Shiv Prakash, Arjun Singh. For the BJP, the candidates' list for the state's 294 seats was expected to be a tough balancing act. Protesters demanded the withdrawal of party nominee Mahit Ghanti — a close aide of Rajib Banerjee — who has been nominated from the Panchla Assembly seat in Howrah.

The protesters, mainly comprising the old guards, wanted the party to field either Ranjan Pal or Bhabani Roy from there. They shouted anti-party slogans and gheraoed Mukul Roy. Later, police intervened and whisked Roy away. They alleged that Ghanti had been involved in 'satta' racket, extortion and money laundering. He recently joined the BJP and Rajib Banerjee, another new entrant, had handed over the party flag to him.

"We want Ghanti to be replaced immediately. He does not know BJP's tradition and heritage. We will not cooperate if he contests from Panchla," said Surajit Ghosh, a BJP old-timer. The efforts of BJP leaders like Saumitra Khan and Mukul Roy to pacify the agitators went in vain.

The protest against Rabindranath Bhattacharya at Singur continued unabated. BJP old-timers white-washed the wall where graffiti in favour of Bhattacharya was painted. The elderly BJP supporters said Bhattacharya had joined the party seven days before he was nominated for the seat. "We have been doing the party and took part in all its programmes from 2011. We cannot accept him who till recently criticised us in every meeting," said Biswarup Manna. There was another agitation at Udaynarayanpur, where Sumit Ranjan Karar — who recently joined the party from TMC — had been nominated. Party workers put up a road blockade on Monday.

In Uttarpara, BJP supporters white-washed the walls kept reserved for party candidate Prabir Ghosal who recently joined the party from TMC.

Meanwhile, Amit Shah returned to Kolkata from Ranibandh in Bankura after holding a public meeting. He is scheduled to hold a series of meetings in the city on Tuesday.

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