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BJP delays naming nominees in Matua turf

Kolkata: Fearing factional feud, BJP is yet to announce the candidates for the three Matua-dominated Assembly constituencies of North 24-Parganas — Gaighata (SC), Bongaon Uttar (SC) and Bagdah (SC) — political analysts said on Friday.

However, the BJP has already fielded candidates in all other constituencies of North 24-Parganas. During the last Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi commenced his election campaign in the state by seeking blessings from Matua matriarch Binapani Devi.

As analysts opined, one of the main purposes behind the Prime Minister's visit was to forge a personal bond with 'Boro Maa' Binapani Devi and thereby swing Matua votes in favour of the BJP.

However, the situation is different this time. Ever since the party announced its lists for several constituencies, it had been struggling to resolve infighting in the state. Party supporters took to the streets protesting against the candidates from various constituencies.

In such a scenario, factional feud among the party's supporters from the Matua community could be another major embarrassment for the BJP. Hence, it has adopted 'go slow' tactics, the analysts added.

According to sources in the BJP, there are more than two to three contenders, who are still in the race for candidature from the three constituencies. "It is a tough call for our Central leaders to field candidates in these seats, dominated by the Matuas," a BJP leader from the district said.

Sources said Manjul Krishna Thakur, father of Bongaon BJP MP Shantanu Thakur, is one of the strong contenders for Gaighata (SC). Manjul Krishna Thakur was once associated with the TMC. He had remained the minister of the state for Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation department and later switched over to BJP.

Dhanesh Narayan Guha, who had recently left TMC and joined the saffron camp is another contender for Gaighata. Biswajit Das, who had left TMC after the last Lok Sabha polls, is also hopeful of getting a ticket from Bongaon Uttar. Sources claimed that Bongaon MP Shantanu Thakur was not backing Das as the latter belonged to the opposite camp within the party. Sources said Thakur was backing Ashoke Kirtaniya for Bongaon Uttar.

Swapan Majumdar, who is also a close aide of Shantanu Thakur, has been announced as a candidate for the BJP for Bongaon Dakshin (SC).

Majumdar is pitted against Alo Rani Sarkar of the TMC.

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