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BJP fields Union minister, 3 MPs, economist Ashok Lahiri in Bengal

BJP fields Union minister, 3 MPs, economist Ashok Lahiri in Bengal
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Kolkata: Union minister Babul Supriyo, former Chief Economic Advisor Ashok Lahiri, as well as three sitting MPs and several Tollywood personalities were among the BJP's star-studded list of candidates released on Sunday for the upcoming polls in Bengal. The saffron party released its candidate list for 63 seats featuring 27 names for the third phase and 36 names for the fourth phase. While 31 Assembly constituencies (ACs) are going to polls in the third phase, polls in the fourth phase will be conducted for 44 ACs.

The BJP has fielded four MPs, including a Union minister, raising its stakes in the state polls by bringing its best-known faces into the electoral contests. Adressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters, party General Secretary Arun Singh along with Union ministers G Kishan Reddy and Debasree Chaudhuri released the names. Union minister Babul Supriyo is BJP's candidate from Tollygunge. Lok Sabha MPs Nishit Pramanik and Locket Chatterjee have been fielded from Dinhata and Chunchura respectively. Senior journalist and Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta is the BJP's nominee for Tarakeshwar Assembly segment.

Outgoing MLA of Singur and veteran leader Rabindranath Bhattacharya, who had crossed over from the Trinamool Congress after it denied him ticket, has been fielded from the same seat by the BJP. Besides Chatterjee, the party has given tickets to several Bengali film personalities, including Tanushree Chakraborty from Shyampur, Payal Sarkar from Behala Purba and actor Yash Dasgupta from Chanditala in Kolkata.

Ashok Lahiri has been fielded from Alipurduar. Lahiri has also served as Chairman of the Kolkata-based Bandhan Bank and was member of the Finance Commission from 2017 to 2020. Political analysts opined that by fielding columnist Dasgupta and the economist Lahiri, the BJP has desperately sought to impress the 'Bhadralok' sensibilities for the intense poll battle against TMC, which has several eminent personalities on its side.

Analysts opined that Bengali intelligentsia had generally refrained from backing the saffron party in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

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